Imagine a world where children enjoy studying and learning, doing the things they love and learning math at the same time. A place where children compete together, doing athletic activities, creative games and reading books.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
I’ve always heard that necessity is having an invention, and that’s certainly true of this Adventure Points idea. Have you ever had one of those moments of motherhood when every baby needed something at the same time, just spilled strips everywhere, and the baby needed a diaper change?
I had one of these moments, and I realized that for the sake of my sanity and the level of activity of the children, I need to make a plan for the summer, which does not involve them watching TV every day.
We renew the system every summer or during breaks. It puts the natural creative and competitive sides of my kids to work for everyone!
What is an adventure?
We already have “Mom, I’m bored”, which works very well, but helps more when they are bored. I wanted to find a way to encourage them to study without being bored at first.
In short, it is a simple scoring system for creative or sporting events that encourages movement and creative play while watching TV. It also surprisingly reduced the quarrel and struggle in our house.
The idea for the name “Eyepiece Points” came from my children’s hiking boots, which they call “Adventure Boots” because they wear them for hiking, building a fort and other outdoor adventures.
How adventure points work
I sat down with a piece of paper and thought about the activities I would like my children to do this summer, and gave each one a score. The kids helped me brainstorm, and we came up with a big list of activities they liked (which didn’t include a screen or snacks). Things like:
- Cycling (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Pull-up = 2 points
- Push-ups = 1 point
- Swimming = (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Drawing (30 minutes) = 5 points
- Cooking for the family = 20 points
- Reading a book = 5 points
- Reading a book with sections = 20 points
- Construction of the fort = 20 points per hour
- Assembling origami (30 min.) = 10 points (excellent textbooks in this book)
- Make paper airplanes (30 min.) = 10 points (They love this book for ideas)
- Draw with chalk on the sidewalk (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Reading for a brother or sister (30 min.) = 25 points each
- Do the job (not on the to-do list) = 10 points
- Play Monopoly = 15 points
- Play Scrabble = 15 points
- Climb a tree = 5 points per tree
- Play Battleship = 10 points
- Play chess = 10 points
- Water the plants = 5 points
- Play Uno = 5 points
- Play war (card game) = 10 points
- Jump rope = 3 points
- Play from apples to apples = 10 points
- Play jumps = 2 points
- Weed Garden (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Play a game with a jumper ball = 15 points
- Run around the yard 5 times = 10 points
- Jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes = 3 points
- Make a riddle = 20 points
- Make 25 wheels = 10 points
- Write and send a letter to friends or family = 10 points
- Create a garbage hunt for siblings = 10 points
- Play Legos (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Get caught up in something unexpected and good = 50 points
- Video outside (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Listen to the story podcast = 10 points
- Watch the TED talk (from this list) = 10 points
- View / do a lesson with Udemy or Great Courses = 15 points
I thought of about 50 activities that were worth the points and assigned value to each. Then I made a list of interesting family activities that would be good goals for important moments. 100 points would bring a healthy dessert after a one-night dinner, while 1,000 points would earn a greater reward, like a special activity, new art materials, or a contribution to something they wanted. (Tip. Use things you plan to do anyway! It’s just a fun way for kids to earn them).
I have also found that children are happy to be helpful around the house when I offer “bonus points” for doing more than their usual responsibilities.
After a few days of using the system, I decided to create two separate lists for older children (8+) and younger (7 years and younger) to match their skill levels, as younger children remained older children (who could do many more pull-ups!).
How to realize adventure points
If you want to try this system (and I highly recommend it!), Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Decide on activities that work in your home / yard
Make a list of activities that your children would like to do and, if necessary, divide them by age groups. Find out how much each activity in the point system you want to use costs and assign points to each. Feel free to use my list to get started!
2. Decide on rewards
Most likely, although glasses are a great motivator, your children will not be thrilled just earning points that mean nothing. Decide which points will allow children to earn or earn, and create a list for children. We try to focus on activities and experiences, not things, so our rewards were activities, but physical rewards can also be great, especially if they help children be active or build life skills.
Some ideas of material rewards that encourage learning:
3. Track points
I realized that the system would not encourage the independent creative time I had hoped for if children had to register with me every time they did an activity to get points. I decided to use the honor system (which still worked very well) and get each child a small spiral notebook to track points. So the kids keep track of their scores every day, and I just count once a day to keep the overall score.
I also created a chart to help track the scores for each activity. You can download a copy for yourself here.
4. Enjoy watching your children learn and play!
I really hoped that creating “Adventure Points” would free up some of my time by stopping the choruses “I’m bored” and “Can we watch a movie?” It certainly is, and I’m definitely grateful for it.
I found that even more than my free time, I enjoyed watching my children’s creativity grow, and older children play with younger ones more easily because they have more structure and ideas for activities (and because there is a purpose in mind). In addition, tracking scores has become a fun and unexpected rise in math for young children, as I constantly hear questions like “Does 243 plus 15 258 ?!” 🙂
Your turn! What are some interesting ways to encourage creativity and activity during free time at home?