classroom reward system snowman

There’s a chill in the air!  Makes you want to just hunker down and hibernate, right? Is your classroom experiencing the winter blahs? Make things fun and lively with these winter-themed classroom reward system ideas!

It’s easy to lose motivation in the middle of the school year.  Students are stuck inside, become restless and bored, and of course the hibernation factor. These cool classroom incentives will warm your students up to push through the dark days of winter and be their best at school. Check it out!

Whole-Class Winter Reward System Ideas

The following winter reward ideas are geared to positively reinforce the entire classroom.  Start by explaining the goals or expectations that need to be met to get a reward.  Then share with the class is what the reward is.  (See below for reward ideas.)  Encourage students to work together to meet the expectations and reward their efforts by trying the following:

snowman class reward system

Build A Snowman

  • Select a reward that you know your class will be motivated to work towards. Cut out components of a snowman which includes: white circles for the body, black circles for the face and buttons, orange triangle for the nose, brown rectangles for the arms, and optional hat or scarf.
  • Designate a spot in the room, like a bulletin board, where the snowman will get displayed.
  • Explain to your class that they will have the opportunity to build a snowman and get a reward once the snowman is complete. Determine the things students need to do to earn parts of the snowman. 
  • As the class gets rewarded pin the snowman parts up on the board.
  • Celebrate the classroom’s success with the reward when the snowman gets built!

Fill The Snow Globe

  • Using the same concept described above, select a reward for the class and explain to the students they can earn snowflakes and get a reward when the snowglobe is filled up.
  • Create a snow globe to hang up on a bulletin board simply by cutting a large snow globe shape out of butcher block paper. You can add some decorative elements to put in the snow globe like a pine tree or snowman. 
  • Print off and cut out a stack of snowflakes that are small enough to pin inside of the snowglobe.
  • Reward the class with the snowflakes for their good deeds. When the snowglobe gets filled with snowflakes celebrate with the bigger reward!

Mitten Motivators

  • Using the same concept described above, select a reward for the class and explain to the students they can earn mittens and get a reward when a certain number of mittens are earned.
  • Pick a place in your room to pin up a string like a clothesline to hang mittens on.
  • Using colored paper like red or blue, cut out mittens.
  • When the class has earned a mitten hang one up on the clothesline.
  • Celebrate the student’s success with their special reward when the string is filled with mittens.

Individual Winter Reward System Ideas

It’s good to reward students for their individual contributions and accomplishments in class too. Their recognition reinforces them to keep up the good work and serves as a role model to motivate other students to work towards their own rewards.  An individual incentive is also great to help students work on personal goals or grow in areas that can be a struggle.


Like with classroom-wide rewards, clearly explain to students the expectations or goals they need to meet to earn something. Unlike classroom-wide rewards though students can earn smaller incentives or receive personal recognition for their efforts. Here are some ideas you can give to students:

white snowflakes with rewards written on them

Snowflake Incentives

  • Clearly define the goal or expectation student needs to meet.
  • When a student displays the desired behavior or completes a task they get a snowflake.
  • Snowflakes can be a sticker for a sticker chart or cut-out paper snowflakes.
  • Instruct the student to hold onto their snowflake.
  • After a student earns 5 snowflakes they can turn them in for a bigger reward.

Hat’s Off To You Certificates

  • Following the same idea as explained above students can earn a reward, in this case, a hat certificate. The focus on earning these rewards though is for showing kindness to others in the classroom.
  • Cut a stocking hat shape out of paper and write “Hat’s off to you!”
  • When a student earns a hat be sure to write their name on it.
  • Then hang up their hat on a designated bulletin board.
  • For other acts of kindness give the student a sticker to put on their hat.

Alphabet Soup

  • For this reward, students will earn letters of the alphabet to fill up their bowl of soup.
  • Print out a template that has a bowl of soup in it.
  • Pass out the “soup bowls” for students to keep at their seat.
  • As students meet their goals or expectations give them an alphabet letter to put in their soup bowl.
  • When students earned all of the letters they can get a larger reward.

Reward System Ideas

Here are some ideas you can use to reward your class!

Classroom Incentives

  • Wear PJ’s and popcorn day
  • Watch a winter-themed movie
  • Extra recess (with optional sledding or snow fort building)
  • Winter wonderland class party
  • Winter themed crafternoon (spend the afternoon making winter crafts)
  • Cozy day and wear cozy socks and hoodies, bring a favorite stuffy or blankie, have hot chocolate

Individual Incentives

  • Keep a bag of party favors students can select a prize
  • Line leader for the day
  • Special helper job like passing out papers
  • Candy or treats
  • Sit in a special chair
  • Share and tell where students gets the opportunity to bring something special to class and share it

The New Year is a great time to reset and even set goals for your classroom as a whole, or individual student goals. You can learn more about New Year Goal Setting over at my blog. Create a magical winter wonderland by rewarding your class with these winter themes classroom rewards!  Your students will be motivated to be on point and look forward to coming to class every day.

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