21+ Award Ideas for Kindergarten Students

Kindergarten students are learning and growing every day, you can help them celebrate their success with rewards.

Verbal praise, reward charts, award celebrations and classroom awards can all help students see their strengths. 

Choose a reward that focuses on something your child did or a character quality that you see in the child. 

Awards are just one way to praise growth and skill development in kindergarteners. 

Award Ideas for Kindergarten Students

Kindergarten students are not developmentally able to set goals for themselves so they need help tracking their achievements. 

While award ceremonies generally take place at the end of the year, students should be recognized more often than once a year. 

Award students with verbal praise, written notes and public praise regularly when you notice them making a positive choice or showing growth in skill. 

Kindergarten students are working on a lot of new academic skills which offer a great opportunity to reward their new brain growth. 

Track these achievements and share success with parents, teachers, grandparents and any other adults in your child’s life. 

Display work that your child is proud of in your home to remind them of their accomplishments. 

Classroom Award Ideas for Kindergarten Students

Creating awards for your kindergarten students can be a great way to reinforce positive behavior that you see in your students. 

These creative ideas for classroom awards can be used by teachers for regular awards

Learning Awards

I Can Add!

Subtraction Wizard

Alphabet Ace

Letter Learner

Sight Word Seeker

History Buff


Royal Reader

Library Lover 

Chief Investigator 

Fact Finder

Connection Maker

Pattern Finder

Killer Counter 

Passionate Learner 

Curious Learner

Imaginative Inquisitor

Show and Tell SuperStar

Wonderful Writer

Letter Lover

Navigator of Numbers

I Can Count to 100!

Rhythm Rhymer 

Music Lover

Brilliant Artist

Knowledgeable Neighbor 

Ferocious Learner 

Character Awards

Honest Leader

Kind Listener

Friend Maker

Quick Sharer 

Resource Finder

Brave Friend

Alert Eagle

Generous Giver

Cheerful Sunshine 

Regular Rememberer

Healthy Habit Guru

Diligent Do-er

Silver Lining Spyer 

Brilliantly Brave

Courageous Cougar  

Detail Noticer

Memory Master

Above and Beyond

Behavior Awards

Attendance Ace

Focus Finder

Safe Student

Definite Decision-Maker

Self-Management Super Star 

Responsible Reader

Trustworthy Trooper 

Spectacular Saver 

Growing Grateful

On Time In Line

Quick Listener

Recess Rescue

Fast Friend

Self Control Master

Stations Sharer 

How to Use a Reward Chart

Reward charts are helpful for kindergarteners as they work towards a short or long term goal. 

Reward charts are a digital or physical chart with blank boxes that will be filled with checks, stars or stickers as the child makes progress towards the goal. 

Reward charts are a form of behavior modification that can help children make positive choices towards a goal. 

Generally, children respond more positively to rewards than to punishments and so using a sticker chart is a way to use positive reinforcement rather than punishment. 

Reward charts are a great way to start teaching goal setting.

Set a Goal

Talk to the student about the target behavior or skill. 

Make it clear what the child will do or accomplish in order to get a box checked on the reward chart. 

The goal should clearly state the way the child will get that sticker. 

Choose a Reward

When you are setting up your reward chart, put reward days on the chart. 

When possible, allow the child to choose their reward.

They may want to sit with a friend for a day, a piece of candy or a small toy. The choice is up to you. 

Recognize Wins 

When your child completes the action add a sticker to the chart.

Be sure to check in on the goal at least once a day. 

If your child gets close to the goal, but does not quite meet it, recognize their effort.

A high five or a note can help encourage them to keep up the hard work. 

Small Reward Ideas for Kindergarteners

Small rewards may help keep students engaged as you learn a new skill or work on a difficult behavior. 

These small awards can fill a classroom treasure box or keep you connected with your kindergarteners as you work towards a goal. 


High Five

Small Notebooks


Colored Pens


Special Seat Pass

Special Show and Tell

Extra Library Book

Line Leader

Colored Pencils






Positive Call Home 

Check with your school to see if they can provide any rewards that you could pass on to your students, or reach out to the PTA to ask for donations. 

School supplies can be a great reward mid year when students may need a refresh of regularly used items like pencils and crayons. 

Be sure to keep any treasure box free from common allergens or dangerous items. 

Are Awards Good for Kindergarten Students?

Awards have their drawbacks. Some kids will not receive an award and some kids will get many awards. 

Awarding students can also become demotivated if all their motivation is provided by external results. 

Consider these things when you give awards in your home or your classroom. 

Long Term Effects

Students may become less motivated by awards if they do not get awarded. 

Character comes from within and students who rely on external awards or praise may not develop a lasting work ethic. 

Early elementary students tend to respond well to awards, but the spark fades as they move through their schooling. 

Be sure to help students begin to recognize their own strengths as they move through the curriculum. 

Teaching students to set goals is a skill that can benefit them far beyond early elementary. 

Collaboration and Awards

Awards single out one student and highlight one aspect of their character.

Students in 21st century classrooms should be focusing on learning collaboration skills. 

Awards can undermine the team environment that you are trying to build in class.  

What are we rewarding?

When designing rewards for your classroom be careful what you are rewarding. 

Are we rewarding effort or achievement?

Character or personality?

Parent engagement or academic skill?

There are lots of ways we can communicate values with our students when we give awards.

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Award Ideas for Kindergarten Students