Top 10 Best Reward Prize Ideas for Kids: My First Nest Egg

Are you looking for the best reward prize ideas for kids? So were we. We wanted to build our kids’ self-esteem and teach them about money management. So we built an award-winning app.

Little kids love little things. Just ask any parent who has taken a child to an arcade. They will spend all their money and countless hours collecting one billion tickets to “win” a plastic frog that hops when you push down on its tail. The My First Nest Egg app captures that excitement and funnels it into earning small prizes by completing chores and achieving goals. These prizes are some of the best motivational rewards ideas for kids out there.

We have compiled a list of the top rewarded toys under $15 that our little achievers love to earn.

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Best Toy Incentives to Award Kids

The prizes do not have to be big. In fact, the smaller the child the smaller the necessary prize. Especially for 3-5-year-olds who tend to be as happy with a matchbox car as they are with an expensive set of magnatiles. The truth is that most of the joy is derived from the earning and sense of accomplishment of earning a reward. We want positive reinforcement for accomplishing small goals.

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Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on My First Nest Egg. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

1. Legos

Legos provide hours of creative play for children. These colorful little blocks help kids build fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities. They’re number one on this list because they provide the trifecta of toy value: fun, educational, and durable.

Why Legos Are Great Rewards for Kids

These cute little sets sell for $10-15 and will make you feel like a good parent as well as provide much-needed chore motivation. We found several inexpensive sets on Amazon for boys and girls, explorers, and princesses. Here are a few ideas:

2. Paint by Sticker Books

Remember the Paint by Number books from your childhood? Some genius has repurposed the idea for modern-day parents who might cringe at the idea of their child applying some paint to the paper and some to the walls/floors/doors. 

Why We Love Paint By Sticker Books as Rewards

These fun little activity books are very popular right now and they provide hours of fun for kids and are mess free for parents. Much like legos, there are several different versions for all interests. This one is one of our favorites since all of our kids want to be astronauts. 

3. Electronic Doodle Pad

Kids absolutely love to draw and doodle. Every parent knows this because homes with kids are homes full of signs on bedroom doors, pictures on refrigerators, and a million sweet messages on homemade cards. Give little ones a blank canvas, like the Orsen Colorful Writing Tablets, and they will fill it with dolphins, pirates, flowers or castles. 

Why We Love the Electronic Doodle Pad

All of this creativity generates a lot of recyclables, but the Electronic Doodle Pad solves the problem. Kids will spend hours doodling, showing off, erasing, and then repeating the process. 

These cute little pads aren’t only fun around the house, they are super useful on road trips, doctor’s visits, or patiently waiting for a sibling to finish soccer practice. 

4. Butter Slime

8 Butter slime cupcakes make great reward prizes for kids.

Slime is every child’s dream and every parent’s nightmare. If I’m being honest, it was banned in our house for a long time. I lost a carpet, my favorite pajamas and a piece of furniture to the grossest, gooiest, disgusting thing ever invented. 

Don’t even get me started on the make-your-own slime craze. That almost broke us. 

But there’s a new kid in town, and it’s called Butter Slime. After I got done explaining that it feels like butter and doesn’t taste like butter, my kids were quick converts. 

We’ll never go back. 

Why Butter Slime is an Awesome Reward for Kids

Butter Slime is not nearly as sticky and gooey. It is fluffy and moldable and doubles as a stress reliever. There are endless colors and kits so there’s something for everyone. Earning Butter Slime is a win for kids and not a total fail for parents. Which counts as a win. 

5. Dragonwood & Card Games

The Dragonwood board game makes a great prize for young kids.

Card games have come a long way from the Uno game we had as kids. Kids love card games and parents appreciate that they don’t take up too much room in the ever-expanding game cabinet. 

In the past few years lots of new fun ones have come out, so you’re not just stuck with 93 different iterations of Uno (which is timeless of course). 

Dragonwood is a favorite in our house, but there is also Sleeping Queens, Nuts about Mutts, and even the card version of Monopoly

More About Card Games Make Great Prizes

Dragonwood is a good combination of some complications, interesting rules, and lots and lots of dice. It takes the kids 15-20 minutes to play a game so it holds their attention without being a 6-hour game of Monopoly. There are always new and exciting games hitting the market so these are a go-to in our house for puzzle prizes. We’re stocking up now for endless summer play. 

6. Dragon Masters Books

The trick with books is finding the ones your kids love to read. I once told a veteran teacher that my son did not like to read. She told me that I wasn’t giving him the right books. Touche

She was right. Books are always a great reward for little readers, especially if you can find series they love. 

Now our kids are voracious readers and they get very motivated to complete a book puzzle as soon as finish a book with a cliffhanger ending. 

Several Great Book Series to Reward a Child

The Dragon Master Books are great for early readers ages 6-8. There are tons of them so you could buy the series and hand one out per puzzle. We struggled to find engaging books after we finished with the beloved Magic Treehouse series and these hit the spot. Whatever your child’s reading level, find a book on their list and make a puzzle out of it. 

7. Geosafari Kidnoculars

Summer is fast approaching (even faster if you live in Arizona), and it’s time for kids to put on their crocs and head outside. Every yard is full of fun things if you know where to look.

Kids Love These Kidnoculars

These kid-friendly GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars put that ability in their hot little hands. Made to fit little faces with focus-free lenses, these will let your little one see the world up close. They come in different colors and have a loop so they can hang down when not in use. Kids will love earning these and parents will love hearing about all of the interesting things their children can see when they get a fun assist. 

8. Flying Hover Balls

A couple of years ago my kids became obsessed with these little flying hover balls. The idea that a ball could hover over their hand in midair blew their tiny minds. When we found this version with lights I became aware that the craze was here to stay. 

Why We Love The Flying Hover Ball as a Prize

These small flying orbs come in all different designs and colors and provide hours of enjoyment for kids. They are rechargeable so they won’t break the bank on batteries. If you have a beach vacation coming-up, consider packing one for a puzzle prize if they do well traveling, because these are great at night on the beach. 

9. Magic Box

Children love hiding things. From siblings. From parents. From themselves. My son recently used his Nest Egg earnings to buy a safe just so he could keep his Easter candy safe. Mostly from me.

I’m a stay-at-home mom so around 1 pm I frequently decide my kids’ teeth require me to raid their candy supplies. 

The Beauty of a Magic Box as a Puzzle Reward

Safes are a bit spendy, but these little magic boxes will do the trick on a smaller scale. Once your child opens them for the first time (they can be a little sticky at first) they are pretty easy to use, and very hard for anyone else to figure out. 

We have a couple of Magic Boxes in the house and the kids like to hide little toys, candy or secret notes about weekend sleepovers in each other’s rooms. 

10. Anything from the Dollar Store

Dollar Stores are the absolute best for puzzle prizes. You can either shop ahead of time for your child’s favs, or let them earn a 10 $1 item spending spree. 

Shopping with your child is an excellent way to teach them about money, taxes, and comparison shopping. In addition, if it happens to be one of the dollar stores that is now a $1.50 store you can teach them about inflation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some common questions we are asked about the My First Nest Egg app and how puzzles can be used to reward kids.

How does the puzzle system work?

We created the My First Nest Egg puzzle system so that parents could teach their kids to earn, and solve the age-old problem of ingraining delayed gratification into tiny humans whose favorite word is “NOW!” 

When you use our puzzle system you can customize a puzzle exactly to your needs. 

You can take a picture of the prize and break it into however many pieces are appropriate for your child. 

Our expert puzzles were created by a psychologist and offer suggestions for how many pieces are appropriate for different ages. 

Each puzzle piece represents an accomplishment and you can use our preset accomplishments or add your own. 

When your child does the chore or assignment they earn a puzzle piece. This puzzle piece provides instant gratification, but they are also learning to delay their gratification for the final prize until they have completed their puzzle. 

Can you take away a puzzle piece?

Parents always ask us if they can take away puzzle pieces. That ability does exist in the app, however, we built it in more for mistakes than for punishment. 

We want the prizes our kids win to be an effective reward. Of course, the app is yours to use as you choose. However, we have heard from multiple experts that it is good to teach children that their accomplishments are theirs to keep and cannot be taken away. It is a good lesson for life, that our mistakes do not erase our achievements. 


Kids need to learn how to earn – it will be one of the cornerstones of success in their lives. Puzzles give parents a very easy way to teach even young children how to earn and equate effort with achievement. Find something that motivates your child and get started with My First Nest Egg today!