But why does a token economy work? Why do tokens encourage positive behavior and how has this model become so successful?
Tokens Are EarnedAt the foundation of token economies is the understanding that an incentive must be earned, that not everyone gets it and therefore it has value. If every child received a Toe Token® for running, regardless of distance, the Toe Token® would lose some of its motivational power. For example, Fitness Finders® doesn’t sell Toe Tokens® to parents to be used as gifts because this dilutes the value of earning the award.
Tokens Are ScarceTokens hold a lot of value when the student has accomplished something, and when everyone else knows what action they took to receive the token. Challenges and goals add to the incentive, but account for the development and ability of the students. It is important to set achievable but ambitious goals.
Tokens Are FunOur tokens work with children because they are fun. We offer over 600 unique awards in 180 different bright, eye-catching colors.
With so many variations, colors, and styles, token selection could easily get overwhelming. But don’t worry! We will happily help you find the perfect award for your situation, or let your students vote on tokens that they want to earn!
Charles Kuntzleman, Founder of Fitness Finders, said, “Select incentives that are visible, countable, attractive, and perceived as highly valuable by the recipients.”
Tokens Set the Stage for Lifelong LessonsNot only are token encouraging in the present, but they can also motivate students into the future. To facilitate this lifelong impact, Kuntzleman suggests periodically reminding students of the importance of the activity behind the token. This means communicating why the desired behavior is beneficial in life and how it can impact students in a positive way.
Even if the students remain focused on tokens in the moment, they will look back one day and remember the lessons emphasized.
At the end of the day, the desired behavior is the ultimate goal. Tokens just happen to be a fun, motivational, and inexpensive way to increase participation and effort. So get some tokens and tackle those goals!