17 Clever VIPKID Reward System Ideas For Building Excellent Rapport
Having awesome VIPKID reward systems plays a major role in engaging the students and keeping the parents satisfied.
I’ve found that my VIPKID reward system ideas have kept my students coming back for more and begging to book classes with me.
Here are 17 exciting VIPKID reward system ideas that you can implement in your classroom.
Table of Contents
My VIPKID Reward System Ideas
VIPKID Reward System Ideas From Other Teachers
VIPKID Rewards For Older Students
My VIPKID Reward System Ideas
Oh! And the best part?
They don’t require ANY props. These VIPKID reward system ideas are entirely free.
The holy grail of all VIPKID reward systems.. tic-tac-toe.
I’m telling you, this game has turned my students into savages.
They beg their parents to book classes with me so they can beat me in tic-tac-toe. As soon as they play tic-tac-toe with me one time, they are hooked. I even have students drawing the tic-tac-toe board immediately after I give them a star.
Introducing Tic-Tac-Toe To Your VIPKID Student
Note: Most students know how to play tic-tac-toe, especially if they are seven years old and above. I’ve played this with students as young as five and it worked really well.
Some students might not pick up on the game and in that case, you can play one time before switching to a different reward system.
Where To Play Tic-Tac-Toe
I used to play tic-tac-toe using my whiteboard, but soon I began to travel the world full-time and carrying around props wasn’t easy.
After dumping the whiteboard, I found out that using the screen to play tic-tac-toe worked even better than the whiteboard.
It works better to use the screen because then the students can actively play with you. They enjoy drawing an X or O on the game board and some students really like drawing the game board, too.
In order to use your screen as a tic-tac-toe board, simply navigate to the last page in the slideshow. Typically the last page is 27, but this sometimes varies depending on the lesson.
To quickly navigate to the last page, look at the bottom of the slideshow in the left corner. Here, you’ll find the quick navigator and you’ll be able to type “27” into the white box and then press enter to reach the last slide.
Be sure to remember which page number you were on so you can use the quick page navigator to continue your lesson after completing tic-tac-toe.
Below, you’ll find a video of exactly how I play tic-tac-toe with my students. I typically play with them 3-4 times each class (after each star, except the last) if that’s the reward system I choose to use.
How To Play Tic-Tac-Toe As A Reward System
An important part of playing tic-tac-toe with your VIPKID student is that you want them to win. When they win, you can put on an act of deep despair. The students eat this up! They LOVE it.
In order to let your student win, don’t ever pick the middle spot. We all know that the player who picks the middle spot has a 10000% more chance of winning than the other player.
In this game, you shouldn’t make it obvious that you want to lose. To get the student riled up, I point my finger at them and say, “you are soooo tricky, tricky, tricky,” while also shaking my head. That sly grin I keep on my face makes it seem like I really want to win.
Sometimes I even stick my tongue out at them in a joking way.
And of course, when you lose, fake crying always makes the student happy. Not only do the students love it, but the parents laugh, too!
2. Paper, Rock, Scissors
The runner-up for the most iconic VIPKID reward system idea is paper, rock, scissors.
This is a fun game to play because emotions can run REALLY high. I recommend pulling out all the facial expressions for this one.
How To Introduce Paper, Rock, Scissors As A VIPKID Reward System
Note: This is an easy game for students to learn, even if they have never played before. This VIPKID reward system works well for young students, too.
As I said, it’s time to get animated. In order to make this game successful, you’ll want to use all of your emotions.
How To Play Paper, Rock, Scissors With Your VIPKID Student
Unlike tic-tac-toe, I sometimes mix in a teacher-win.
Since I play this game with my students 3-4 times per class (typically after every star), there is always time for the student to catch up and eventually win the entire game.
In order to let the student win, I simply keep my hand below the screen until they show me their choice (paper, rock, or scissors).
This may confuse the student if they can’t see your hand, but that’s when I say, “what do you have?” while gesturing for them to show me their hand.
Where To Keep Score
I like to keep score during paper, rock, scissors.
Not only is it an easy way to extend the lesson by having the student count how many points they have, but it also makes the game more exciting.
To keep score, I simply navigate to the last page of the slideshow, which is usually slide 27.
Write their name first and your name second. I simply navigate back to this page to keep score during every paper, rock, scissors game.
3. The Guessing Game
Another one of the best VIPKID reward system ideas is the guessing game.
This is a fun game for children of all ages, but you’ll need to be careful. Some of the younger students might have trouble understanding complex sentences and might not have a broad vocabulary range.
How To Introduce The Guessing Game As A VIPKID Reward System
You don’t need clarification if the student understood the instructions or not. They will either understand the game or not when you start to play it. Nine times out of ten, the student will understand how to play the game after you start giving them clues.
How To Play The Guessing Game With Your Student
The guessing game is a fun VIPKID reward system because there are so many different things you could describe to your student. You can tailor the game to match their interests and there is an infinite amount of times that you can play!
Here is an example of how I play the guessing game with my students:
If the student cannot guess the answer, don’t worry. You can always tell them. However, I usually stick to relatively easy words so that my students don’t get confused.
A few of those words include ice cream, Elsa, banana, dog, shoe, China, etc.
I try to gauge their knowledge before playing the game so that I can use a word they will know, but one that isn’t too obvious.
The really interesting part about this game is when the student tries to explain something to you. This is a great way for the student to practice their free talk and sentence structure skills.
This is one of the VIPKID reward system ideas that doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Pictionary is fun for everyone, even little kids!
You can break this game into segments so that one picture lasts the entire game.
For example, I usually like to draw a pizza.
To start, after the student receives their first star, I draw a circle. After the second star, I draw lines to split the circle.. and so on until they can guess what I’m drawing.
A few easy ideas for Pictionary include pizza, turtle, robot, car.
Where To Play Pictionary
Utilize that last page, which is typically blank. I used to play Pictionary with my students using my whiteboard, but the blank page is so much easier. I also don’t have to pay for new whiteboard markers every three days.. woohoo!
Get your students up and moving to boost their energy in class.
I’ve found that charades is one of the best VIPKID reward system ideas for students that can’t focus. Charades helps them move around and be active while still participating in class.
How To Play Charades With Your Student
Play charades by moving your laptop or tablet to face the direction of an open room. In the open area, I move around to act like an animal or a person doing something.
A few easy things to act out are swimming, dog, rabbit, Elsa.
6. Simon Says… AKA Teacher Says
I’ve recently been testing out a new reward system for my VIPKID classroom and the results have been very positive so far.
I give you… Simon Says!
As a crowd favorite, Simon Says is an excellent way to build rapport with your students.
Even my shyest students come out of their shells for this one. It’s also a great way to get your students moving around, which is perfect for the little ones that are full of energy.
How To Explain Simon Says to Your Student
In the video below, I show you an example of how to explain Simon Says to your VIPKID student, but the beauty of this game is that it doesn’t require a lot of explanation.
If you start doing actions and encouraging the student to do them with you while accentuating the phrase “Teacher Says,” they’ll catch on really quickly.
This reward system is perfect for young students and older students. If you play with an older student, you could even encourage them to be Simon for a round!
A few ideas for Simon Says include:
✔ Touch your nose
✔ Pat your head
✔ Wiggle your fingers
✔ Stick out your tongue
✔ Stand up
✔ Do a little dance
Note: Sometimes, playing a round of Simon Says can take a minute or two.
In this case, I only play it once or twice during the lesson and give the student stars for the other rewards. This works really well and the students don’t mind at all.
Occasionally, I will give my student a star and say, “Great job! We will play Simon Says after your next star”. This way, we aren’t spending half of the lesson playing games and the student is looking forward to the reward system.
VIPKID Reward System Ideas From Other Teachers
The six VIPKID reward system ideas that I mentioned above are my absolute favorite and create so much excitement with my students.
But, what VIPKID reward systems are other teachers using and seeing success with? I asked thousands of VIPKID teachers for their best reward system ideas and here’s what I found:
7. Guess Which Hand
This VIPKID reward system is quick, easy, and lots of fun for students of any age.
You’ll start by drawing an X on the back of one hand and an O on the back of the other. Next, place a marble in one of your hands. The student will guess which hand holds the marble.
If the student chooses the correct hand, they will receive 10 points. If they choose the wrong hand, then you (the teacher) will get 10 points.
At the end of your VIPKID lesson, the person with the most points will win.
Note: You can definitely manipulate this one so that your students beat you. Be sure to be dramatic and sad when you lose; VIPKID students LOVE winning.
– Teacher Jeannie
8. Balloon Madness
This reward systemm in particular, is perfect for younger VIPKID students.
You’ll start with five balloons that are all different colors. Your student will choose which color balloon they like the most. Once they decide on a color, you will blow that balloon up.
Ask your student if they want you to blow it bigger. Once they tell you to stop, both of you will count to three and let the balloon go.
I don’t know if you remember this, but my sisters and I used to do this with balloons ALL the time and it was a blast. Your VIPKID students are going to love it, too.
– Teacher Jeannie
9. Mr. Potato Head
Are your students learning the body parts vocabulary words? A Mr. Potato Head reward system might be exactly what you need in your classroom.
First, you’ll need a Mr. Potato Head doll, which you can buy on Amazon here.
Then, for every star you reward to your VIPKID student, you’ll let them choose which body part to add to Mr. Potato Head.
Make this even more silly and entertaining by putting the body parts in the wrong spots. This is sure to get plenty of laughs.
– Teacher Andrea
10. Pick A Card, Any Card!
Finding a reward system that will entertain older VIPKID students can be difficult. Let’s face it, older kids just aren’t as excited about dolls and stickers as the younger kids.
If you’re struggling to find an easy reward system for your older VIPKID students, try the “Pick A Card” game.
With a deck of cards, sort them so that all of the black cards are on the top and all of the red cards are on the bottom.
Split the deck in the middle (it’s best to do this in front of the camera for added excitement). Once the student does a good job and you reward them a star, you’ll ask them to pick between red or black.
If the student gets it right, the card goes in their pile. If they guess incorrectly, the card goes into your pile. At the end of each round, let the student see each pile (their pile and teacher’s pile).
To control the game so that your student can win, break into the lower half of the deck to make sure they pick the right color.
– Teacher Rebecca
11. The Memory Game
This VIPKID reward system idea is perfect for those students who finish the lesson quickly. You’ll need about five minutes to complete this game, so keep that in mind before playing.
This is the memory game, which can be played digitally or by making your own “memory board”.
On your memory game board, you’ll create ten places, each holding its own card. These cards will have some type of picture or vocabulary word on the back. The student should not see the back of these cards until they select them during the game.
You’ll ask the student to choose two numbers. Once they select the numbers, you’ll show them the back of the cards. If they match, that’s counted as a win. If they don’t match, the cards go back to their original places.
Then, it’s your turn to pick two numbers. This competition will last until all of the cards are paired correctly.
The person with the most cards at the end of the game will win.
– Teacher Julie
12. Would You Rather…?
Do you remember playing “would you rather” when you were a kid? Because I do!
And the secret is, kids STILL love to play that game even in 2021, making it the perfect reward system for your VIPKID classroom.
This game is sure to bring plenty of laughs, which will help you build the rapport you need with your students.
A few fun “would you rather” questions include:
✔ Would you rather have three arms or three legs?
✔ Would you rather be really fast or really strong?
✔ Would you rather have a pet lion or a pet shark?
You can find even more fun “would you rather” questions here.
– Teacher Lesli
13. Find Something
Get your VIPKID students up and out of their chairs with the “Find Something” game. This game is perfect for students of any age and it will keep them on their toes.
Once your student receives a star, you will tell them, “find something blue (or any color/adjective).”
As soon as you tell them which color the race is on! Your student will need to find something that fits that description and you will, too.
The first person to bring back an object that matches the description wins. And to add even more fun, you can even have the student choose what you are each going to find.
Note: You can also play this by timing the student. That way, you aren’t racing against them.
– Teacher Adrianna (visit her educational Youtube channel here)
14. Story Chain
Story chains are some of the easiest and best reward systems for older VIPKID students. You’ll love it because it doesn’t require any props.
For this particular reward system, you’ll begin telling a fun story. This could be about anything.
After a few sentences, you’ll turn it over to your student, who will continue the story in their own way. Continue telling the story between the two of you until the story is finished.
You can make this as silly as you want. The sillier, the better.
Note: This reward system is designed specifically for VIPKID students that can hold conversations.
15. The Word Game
Here’s another VIPKID reward system that is perfect for older kids: The Word Game.
For this game, you’ll write a word on a whiteboard. Then, your student will need to come up with another word that begins with the last letter of the word you wrote on the whiteboard.
This chain can continue throughout the lesson and it’s a fun way to exercise your student’s vocabulary skills.
– Teacher Shannon
16. Roll The Dice
For a quick VIPKID reward that will have your students begging for more classes, try the “Roll The Dice” game.
This game is very simple and doesn’t require any physical equipment or props. Simply download a dice-rolling app on your phone.
The student will go first and you’ll record their score on a whiteboard or on the slides. Then, it’s your turn to roll the dice.
Whoever has the most points at the end of the lesson wins.
– Teacher Jodi
17. Light It Up
Our final VIPKID reward system suggestion might be the easiest one yet. For this reward, you’ll need some tea lights, which you can buy at the dollar store.
When the student does a great job, you’ll give them a star and turn on a tea light. Be sure to display the tea lights for your students to see during the lesson. This gives them an incentive to light up all five tea lights.
This is a great reward for when you’re in a time crunch, too.
– Teacher John
VIPKID Rewards For Older Students
One of the most difficult things about being a VIPKID teacher is finding reward system ideas that work well for older students.
Let’s face it, no 14-year-old wants to play tic-tac-toe four times in a row, especially if you let them win every time.
A few VIPKID reward system ideas I’ve found that work well with older children are hangman, charades, Pictionary, the guessing game, and even just free talk.
Older VIPKID students like to engage in conversation with their teachers, especially when you ask interesting questions.
Ask them about their friends and what they like to do for fun. Ask about where they have traveled to or where they might want to travel. Have them tell you about their day at school and what kinds of movies they like to watch. Ask them about China and the fun things you could do if you visited.
Believe me, asking questions and engaging in conversation is the best way to build rapport with older students.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Reward System Ideas
Now that you have a few VIPKID reward system ideas use these to your advantage to build rapport with all of your students.
These rewards keep my students happy and excited about our lesson. These ideas keep me happy and excited because I don’t have to spend any money on them and my students rush back for more.
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Thank you! This is soooo much more my personality ?
Mine too 🙂 You’ll love playing these games with the kids and seeing the looks on their faces when you let them win! So much fun!
Thank you, Laura, for all your common sense advice. I have learned a lot from you in my early teachings. I am always eager to click on your blogs.
Hubby and I like to travel a lot too, but you have found the perfect combination of work and travel, especially during our harsh winters. That’s great!
Enjoy Greece and it’s beautiful islands and stay safe.
Looking forward to more info from you.
Thank you so much for the kind words! 🙂 You made my day!
Thank you for your great videos and guidance. You have such a dynamic personality for this kind of work!!
Ahh thank you so much, Susan! I really do love this job and I do feel I’m pretty good at it 🙂 Thanks for the reassurance and positivity!
Hello, I’m a brand new VIP kid teacher. I’ve had one booking – it was last night!! It was fun. I had a great time. I’m impressed on how you VIP teach and travel so much. Keep the ideas coming – I can tell that you are an AMAZING VIP teacher!! I feel that there is a lot of competition now because there are so many teachers and it’s tough to compete against established teachers – but we need a chance too!! I will read all the ideas out there on how to get booked.
Thank you for the positive words! It really means a lot to me 🙂
If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Mike & Laura VIPKID newsletter. You’ll get A LOT of great info from our weekly emails. You can sign up at the bottom of the page!
Thank you for these great ideas!! 🙂 I tried out two of the rewards today! My super-smart regular in Level 3 loved playing “guess the animal” ! 🙂 She really enjoyed thinking of her own animals! And I taught an older student how to play rock-paper-scissors today. This student does a good job but is usually not too excited about the lesson. This got us laughing together when we kept choosing the same thing! Thanks so much for the great ideas! So helpful! 🙂
Hi Elaina – Awesome to hear! So glad the rewards worked out!
I am a VIPkid teacher in the making!
I am surprised by the backgrounds of ur videos and ur use of not so many physical props.
Can I do that?
I was under the impression that parents were picky and would like to see a fancy and effortful background.
It seems to me that i might need those two elements in the beginning to build a good base of students but can i get away with it later?
Thanks for all the great content.
The only time you need an educational background and props is during your mock class and during your first few classes with VIPKID. They aren’t so much to impress the students, it’s to impress VIPKID.
But yes, you can absolutely get away with this!
I hope that helps 🙂