Five Fun Ideas To Celebrate A Child's Achievements

Young children look at the world with fresh eyes and no preconceptions. As a result, they are continually able to learn, develop and see the wonder in anything new. 

From those first shaky steps to their first word, to getting dressed to doing the most fantastic piece of artwork or mark-making, there's something magical about seeing a child achieve or do something for the first time. And as adults, we have an important role to play in creating the type of 'enabling environment' that encourages this. In fact, positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator that helps children build their confidence and develop in a healthy way.

Here are five simple, yet effective ways to celebrate milestones with your under 5.

1. Use wow notes:

Wow notes are now commonplace in many early years’ settings and form an excellent link between home and nursery. When your child does something special, simply note it down on the wow note template and take it into your childcare setting. The wow note is likely to end up in the child's Learning Journey and it's a great way for the nursery to extend the recognition you've shown at home.

Click here to see our WOW sticky notes resource

2. Praise:

Children respond to and are motivated by praise. A simple 'well done', 'great stuff', 'good girl' etc can make a big impact on your child. In addition to verbal praise use physical acts like high-5s, thumbs up and hugs. If children get a good response, they'll be motivated to do more of the same. In addition, it's worth finding out if your childcare provider uses any special phrases to acknowledge good behaviour or achievements. If your child hears the same terms at home and at nursery it can really benefit their understanding.

3. Reward stickers:

It's very tempting to reward behaviour and achievements with sweets and other unhealthy snacks. However, this can help children develop bad habits. Instead, use reward stickers as a physical acknowledgement of success. You can find them in most stationers or even make your own.

4. Special treats:

Do you use reward charts and set your child-specific goals to achieve? Perhaps it's learning to ride their bike without stabilisers or getting dressed by themselves. You could motivate and encourage their achievement by planning a special treat as a reward. Perhaps you could plan a picnic and play in the park or even a visit to the local theme park. Try and find something that ties into your child's interests.

5. A special achievement board:

Children love looking at pictures of themselves so why not put up a notice board and fill it with photographs marking special achievements. You could even add captions and dates, and when your child is old enough they could add their comments too. In addition, these memories can be shared with your childcare provider who may reference them in your child's Learning Journey.

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