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Primary Classroom: Difficult Behaviors and Positive Reinforcement

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Please note that these ideas are not for disciplining your class but to only encourage participation and positive reinforcements when they make good choices.

  • -While teaching, walk over to child and just lightly squeeze/tap their shoulder, they will know why you did it.
  • -When a child has a good day, call them or send them a card to simply say that you are proud of them.
  • -Talk with parents and see if there is something you can do to help the child to be an active participant.

One key to establishing good behavior is to create a list of expectations of the kids. It's easier for them to behave well when they know what is expected.

Assigned seats - this is an easy thing to do

Bead System - give each child a pipe cleaner (attach their name with masking tape) every time you catch them doing good behavior they get a bead.

Using a large plastic jar, have the children earn marbles, pennies, tokens, tickets,etc

Ways to earn?


-good behavior

-bringing scriptures

-helping take things to the library

-being kind to others

completing challenge/journal page from previous week

Make a puzzle

Class earns the puzzle pieces each week to complete the full puzzle.

Reward Ideas

You can have rewards for the whole class or for individual kids.

  • Teacher dresses crazy (funny hats, dress, glasses, gloves)
  • Class outside
  • Yummy Treat next week
  • Short game at end of class
  • Craft next week
  • Object lesson
  • Sit by friend (this would be great if you have assigned seats)
  • Help teach during next lesson
  • Pick a prize - Amazon has great bulk items for cheap.-Sticky hands

    -Bouncy balls

    - Small Toy Assortment

  • Pick a Sunday to be a board writer

50 ways to get kids' attention
Here's some fun attention grabbers:

Primary Classroom: Difficult Behaviors

Are your kids just a little fidgety?
Here's some different toys to try to keep their hands busy (each of these I have personally and they have helped with our Primary significantly! We are currently using them with children on the Autism Spectrum as well as just those kids that need some energy out)

Primary Classroom: Difficult Behaviors

Spiky Balls -rule: they can't throw or bounce them 
These are especially great with the kids that need the sensory aspect. Playing with these helps to calm them down from being overstimulated. For my own son, this is one of his favorites. Singing time is one of the harder times for him because the kids are laughing and being for loud.

Primary Classroom: Difficult BehaviorsWater Wigglies (these are the perfect size for small kids hands 5") or Water Wands (these are a about a foot and we've found that they can be more distracting than anything)- these are just relaxing to watch and you can have the kids change hands to keep their hands occupied.

Primary Classroom: Difficult Behaviors

Tangles - these are AMAZING! We purchased the set of 3. These are just a continuous loop that you can twist and manipulate and are seriously lifesavers!

Primary Classroom: Difficult Behaviors

Water Bubbler - this is probably the one that the kids take turns with each Sunday for us. They just love watching it.


Here's some websites to check out for ideas on different behavioral problems that you may face.


Child Development Info

Behavior Doctor



September 10, 2015
Age Groups:
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