I have seen this paper heart garland idea all over the place this last month and knew I wanted to do it with the kids. At the time, I had no idea I could use it as an incentive for the kids as well. Let me fill you in on why I love this simple garland so much.
The big kids can read to themselves for homework time. EJ still has to read a chapter out loud to one of us each night (she is a fast little reader and likes to skip words/make up sentences, so we have her read out loud to keep her on track), but she does the bulk of her reading by herself. Olivia still has to read out loud to us and this makes her so mad! In addition to hating not being able to work independently, she is not a fan of how long she has to read out loud. So for awhile we were letting her read just one chapter a night (of the learn to read books) and when we upped her to a whole book a night, it did not go well...at all!
So...I decided to make the heart garland a reward chart. You finish reading a book, you get to add a heart. EJ has shimmery purple, Jack has the red pattern and Liv has both pink with white polka dots and that top pink flower design. Well, you would not believe the response to this little garland. Liv is not complaining at all about reading time or finishing the book each night. And the other two are burning through their books just to add another heart. Even Matt complained a little that grown-ups couldn't contribute. I'm thinking this one is a win.
And I'm thinking that I'm going to need another garland for March!