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Reinforcement Ideas~ The last of em!

March 8, 2010
  1. Cornstarch! Play with cornstarch and water. It makes a terrific tactile effect.
  2. Musical Chairs! Play musical chairs, marching, or silly dancing and then FREEZE when the music stops. Be impressed by the child’s frozen poses.
  3. Magic Tricks! Pull a candy out of the child’s ear. Transfer a reinforcer magically from one hand to another closed fist (the child doesn’t know you had it there already). Or even into a sealed container (where it already was).
  4. The Glomulator! Draw buttons on paper, have him press one – it makes you “glom” (make something up!) press another one, you stop, another, you hop. The child never knows quite what will happen.
  5. Horsy Ride! Ride the child on your back while you crawl on all fours. Be sure to vibrate the child. Try a bucking bronco ride, or just a very gentle ride.
  6. Echo Cup! Blow or say silly things into a cup to hear the echo.
  7. Why Are You Stomping! Hold the child’s ankles and gently stomp their feet on the floor. Or stomp onto your feet, and complain, “Ouch!”
  8. Pavarotti! Sing lines of a favorite song, especially with a bombastic silly voice.
  9. Earthquake! Shake the child’s chair like an earthquake.
  10. Creep-a-Mousey! Crawl a “mouse” hand up the child’s leg, tummy, and arm and then quickly tickle them under the chin while making sounds that indicate, “I’m coming to get you…”
  11. Massage! Practice gentle or pressure massage the way the child likes it.
  12. Train Ride! Line up the chairs, one behind the other and go for a train ride. Who’s the engineer? Who’s in the caboose?
  13. Go Swimming! Manipulate the child’s arms and legs so they are “swimming” or doing a “cheer”.
  14. Blast Off! Turn the chair into a “rocket” which lifts off after a countdown.
  15. Musical Bounces! Sing silly songs while you bounce the child on your knee.
  16. Singing Your Song! Sing songs using the child’s name within the song. Imitate a favorite character as you sing.
  17. Puppet Nibbles! Use a puppet to nibble on toes and fingers.
  18. Secret Joke! Whisper something silly in the ear.
  19. Eskimo Kisses! Rub noses with the child or on their cheek gently.
  20. Human Broom! Hang the child upside down and pretend that they are a broom.
  21. I’m a Real Character! Imitate lines and characters from the child’s favorite movies or cartoons, i.e. Pumba saying, “Hakuna matata,” Donald Duck saying, “That was just wonderful,” or Curly saying, “I’m trying to think but nothing’s happening!”
  22. Kissing Machine! Have the child push an imaginary button to turn on a “kissing machine.”
  23. Chase! Play chase games, especially when on the way outside or to a favorite activity.
  24. Jack-in-the-Box! Crawl into a large box and pretend to be “jack-in-the-box.” “Pop goes the weasel” is a great song for this.
  25. Lady and the Tramp! Suck strands of spaghetti quickly into your mouth.
  26. The Big Sneeze! Fake a long build up into an exaggerated sneeze.
  27. Commando Attack! Plan a commando attack on Dad. Sneak up and throw water at him.
  28. The Pokemon Polka! Dance to Weird Al’s Pokemon Polka. Try to sing as fast as he does.
  29. Rubba Ribs! Tickle the child’s ribs by rubbing your knuckles on them. Say, “Here comes the big one! Rubba Ribs!”
  30. Domino Disaster! Set up a domino chain to knock over.
  31. Balloon Chase! Blow up ten balloons and chase them all around the room simultaneously, with lots of laughter.
  32. Calling Daddy! Call Dad for praise on an intercom or walkie-talkie.
  33. Nesting Rewards! Place a treat inside multiple nesting boxes and lift each as a reinforcer.
  34. Adjective Search! Teach colors or other adjectives by hiding a reinforcer under one of many colored boxes. Tell the child, “It is under the “red” one, for example. In this way, the child is motivated to find the correct color to find the reinforcer more quickly. This works for other adjectives as well.
  35. Hide and Seek! Have someone hide and go find them. They can leap out to “scare” the child.
  36. It Wasn’t Me! Simulate the sound of passing gas, and act embarrassed.
  37. Go Ahead and Get It! Cut two holes in each end of a box. “Secretly” put one hand in the box. Then drop a reinforcer in the box with your other. Let the child reach in to get it, but grab their hand when they do.
  38. I’ve got ya! Trap the child in your legs and let them struggle to get out.
  39. Jumping Animal! Squeeze a wet foam animal tightly into your hand and open it to let it spring out to the child.
  40. Pan Parade! Hold a parade with pots and pans.
  41. Garden Hose Surprise! Spray Dad outside with a garden hose for each correct trial. Go outside to do the trials.
  42. Dryer Time! Have child sit on the dryer while it is running.
  43. It’s Coming Baack! Hang a soft toy from a long rope and let the child hit it away from them. “It’s coming baaack!”
  44. Dancing to Ernie! Get a mechanical musical toy (Ernie, or the fish, or the sunflower) and dance to its song.
  45. Chattering Teeth! Get chattering mechanical teeth and throw them on the table by surprise.
  46. Watch it Go! Set up a remote control car and tell the child to “look at the car.” When they look, turn it on to reinforce compliant eye contact. When they turn away, stop the car, and repeat the instruction to turn it on again.
  47. Get Her! Tie a stuffed animal to a string and place it on the table. Let the child race you to grab it before you yank it off the table and vice-versa.
  48. What’s So Funny! Find a suction toy that will stick to your forehead.
  49. I’m Batman! Give praise while wearing a new mask.
  50. Bombs Away! Drop water balloons from the second story.
  51. Hula Dad! Have Dad dress up in a grass skirt and lei’s and dance the hula for the child.
  52. The Limbo! Set a broom handle across two chairs and do the limbo to Caribbean music.
  53. Ham It Up! Do your favorite silly actions and noises from your childhood

Have fun and most of all, be creative!

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