"Positive reinforcement is the most important and most widely applied principle of behaviour analysis"
- Cooper, Heron and Heward (2007, p.257)
When a child first enrolls in an ABA program, the therapist will ask the parent(s)/caregiver(s) to complete a reinforcer inventory. The therapist wants to know all of the things that a child enjoys and finds motivating. 
ABA Programs use positive reinforcement to strengthen, maintain, and increase desired behaviors. By providing access to reinforcement AFTER the desired behavior has occurred, it will increase the likelihood that the desired behavior will happen again. It is important to find items/activities that the child loves
The Team of ABA Therapists at Appleseeds Learning Center has put together a list of 100 Ideas for Positive Reinforcement (that does not include food or iPads/Electronics) for families and therapists alike!

Social Activities

1. Sing a Song
2. Bear Hugs / Big Squeeze
3. Board Game
4. Read a Book
5. Face Paint 
6. Jump on the Trampoline 
7. Have a Race 
8. Tickles 
9. Paint a Picture
10. Build a Tower
11. Have a Dance Party
12. Play Hide and Go Seek
13. Go for a Walk
14. Spin Around
15. Play Dress Up
16. Make Silly Faces
17. Work Outside
18. Class Party 
19. Make a Video
20. Paint Nails
21. High Fives
22. Make a volcano
23. Make a Tent
24. Swing 
25. Have a Picnic 
26. Have a Puppet Show
27. Build a Train Track
28. Build a Bird House
29. Ride a Bike
30. Yoga
31. Color with Chalk Outside
32. Plant a garden
33. Walk/Pet a pet
34. Blow Bubbles
35. Funny Voices
36. Bake Cookies
37. Tell a Joke
38. Fist Bumps
39. Make a Secret Handshake
40. Dye Easter Eggs
41. Make a card for friend
42. Play "This Little Piggy"
43. Piggy Back Ride
44. Carve a Pumpkin
45. Play Tag
46. Fly a Kite
47. Play with a Parachute
48. Ring Around the Rosie
49. Play a sport (soccer, basketball)
50. Jump Rope

Tangible Items

1. Pom-poms
2. Play Dough
3. Sensory Bins 
4. Lava Lamp
5. Camera
6. Rubix Cube
7. Legos
8. Puzzles
9. Stress Ball
10. Slinky
11. Magnets
12. Stuffed Animals
13. Flash Light
14. Stickers
15. Trains
16. View Finder
17. Stamps
18. Glow Sticks
19. Balloons
20. Globe
21. Dolls/Doll House
22. Bike/Tricycle
23. Musical Instruments 
24. Water Tumblers
25. Books
26. Ball Pit
27. Sand Box
28. Rock Wall
29. Action Heroes 
30. Kaleidoscope
31. Tunnels
32. Shaving Creme 
33. See Saw
34. Drum Set
35. Ride on Toys
36. Water Table
37. Xylophone 
38. Remote Control Cars
39. Rocking Horse
40. Pop Up Toys
41. Lincoln Logs
42. Tinker Toys
43. Felt Board
44. Squigz
45. Trampoline
46. Abacus
47. Bead Traveler
48. Pin Art Toy
49. Bowling Set
50. Wiggle Ride On Car
Miltenberger (2008, p.73) states that ‘reinforcement is the process in which a behaviour is strengthened by the immediate consequence that reliably follows its occurrence’. To “strengthen” a behaviour is to make it occur more frequently; as clarified by Michael (2004, p. 258) stating that 'when a type of behaviour is followed by reinforcement there will be an increased future frequency of that type of behaviour'.


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Positive reinforcement was taught to us in our psychology class when I was in first year college. Psychologists have proven that through the use of positive reinforcement, a man can possibly do his tasks while being motivated. Positive reinforcement has a massive effect on the behavior of the man towards something. Our psychologists debated that this would be a great technique to the youth or children in school most especially as they can learn and enjoy studying without causing burnout. I hope that both the teachers and the parents know how to employ the tactics.

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