Cool Kid Spray – Free and Simple Positive Reinforcement
A little spritz of water can be one of the most powerful behavior management tools when you call it Cool Kid Spray! So funny how something as simple as water in a little spray bottle can get kids excited and motivated to do what’s right. This super simple and effective tip is another amazing trick that I learned from Debbie Gray, the wonderful teacher that I student taught with a few years ago. She had a whole plethora of ideas to use that were usually cheap and easy to bring to life in the classroom. Read about a few more behavior management tips when you search the Positive Reinforcement category on this blog.
Here’s how it works. Go to Target or the Dollar Tree or Amazon and get an empty spray bottle. I usually go for the travel sized water spray bottles because they’re rarely more than $1 each and come in fun colors. Fill the bottle with water and if you want you can label it with the name “Cool Kid Spray.” I leave my bottles unlabeled but always refer to them as Cool Kid Spray. Whenever you want to use it as a reinforcement tool bring out the spray!
When it’s time to give out the cool kid spray I go to the student and say “close your eyes” and I mist them gently (one squirt only) on the face. The spray on the face is especially effective for kiddos in the afternoon, right after recess, or students who have just transitioned to your room from P.E. when they’re feeling the heat. You could also spray it in the air for kids to walk through so that they get to choose how much they do or don’t get. Another thing I’ve tried is to spray the top of their head, but most times kids don’t want me to mess up their hair and would rather have a spray on the face.
I love to use Cool Kid Spray for all sorts of situations from good singing voice to sitting quietly and listening. One great time saver is to use it when you line up. You can just say something like, “I’ve got some Cool Kid Spray here to give away to anyone who can stand quietly in line.” or “If you stand quietly and keep your hands to yourself you will get cool kid spray on your way out. I’m watching for kid who are really being good citizens and following directions.” If they actually follow the directions I spray some mist on their face as they walk by/walk out of the room. HOWEVER, if they don’t follow the directions they don’t get sprayed. I warn them about that. “I’m only going to spray kids who actually follow the directions and if you don’t you won’t get spray.” Deny them spray once and they’ll never disregard your instructions again!
The great thing about this little spray bottle is that you can always refill it for free right from the tap or a water bottle. I find that most kiddos tend to believe it’s actually cool kid spray if it comes from a colored bottle and not a clear bottle. I suppose you could put some essential oils or something in with the water to scent it, but I wouldn’t just because of allergies and the possibility that it could get in their eyes or mouth.