Motivate those Kids with Marbles

Our Family Marble Jars

After many tries at motivating my kids….I happened upon an article in my Family Fun magazine that told about a family with marble jars.  The kids earned marbles for doing the things they were supposed to do, and for extra chores.  When the jar was full, it could be “cashed in” for sleepovers, outings, cash, or other fun options.

We tried this idea at home and it was a HUGE success.

First – come up with a list of “chores” or “must do’s” that will earn a marble (Marble Jars)

Second – Talk to the kids and brainstorm a list of things they want to earn with a full jar

Third – (adult job) Figure out how many marbles will be needed to earn the “full jar” items

Lastly – Find a jar that holds the right number of marbles….this was the hardest part of the whole thing.  We found that “necked” bottles (such as quarter-size wine bottles) work really well because there’s no disputing when you’re at the top.  However, we found that if the jars were too large, then it was hard for the kids to stay motivated until they were full.  So, we solved the problem by adding an epoxy from Home Depot to the bottom of the jars to partially fill them (along with fun stuff to personalize them).

Our jars hold about 30 marbles.

Marble Jar Closeup
Marble Jar Closeup

Our kids have even asked for a “group” jar.  When they all get together and want to earn something (like a snow cone machine) they all pool their marbles in this jar.  This was their idea!


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