The Marble Jar

by Amy on January 6, 2010

Post image for The Marble Jar

Did you make any family resolutions for 2010? The marble jar is a great way to visually track progress toward a family goal!

{Originally published May 2008}


We are very lucky to have pretty easy-going, cooperative kids.  However, there are always little things we are working on, like potty training, sharing toys, cleaning up, or getting ready for bed.  We try very hard to emphasize the positive and be proactive, so the girls can have success with our expectations.

One of the ways we help the girls visualize those little (and big) successes is with our Marble Jar.  This is a trick I am borrowing from my teaching days.  We simply have a small jar and a basket of marbles.  Whenever my husband or I “catch” the girls being especially cooperative or generous or helpful, we tell them to put a marble in the jar, sometimes 2 or 3 marbles.

When the jar is full, we get to do a special family activity that the girls have requested. We just filled the jar a few days ago, and the girls had been working toward a trip to the Zoo and Fairytale Town.  They are so excited!

The other perk of this easy technique is that the girls are working together to achieve a common goal.  I love the teamwork aspect of it, and the way they encourage each other.

One more tip — don’t start this with a jar that’s too big.  The first couple times, you might want to use a jar that holds about 50 marbles.  Our current jar holds about 100 — with the 2 girls working together, it takes several weeks to fill it.

I would love to hear other ideas for building cooperation, teamwork and success in your homes!

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