I've been bringing in a Tootsie-Roll pop or two as prizes for my little kindergarteners. I give them to the little ones who can say the entire alphabet by themselves, or if they know a long and hard vocab word I'm not expecting them to remember.
I also have a pad of stickers with phrases like, "Good Work!" and "Excellent" on them. At first, I had been giving these out as second place prizes or to the kids who were listening well when no one else was. Or the ones who were trying really really hard, but couldn't help just a few mistakes. In my sweet-toothed logic, sugar is always better than a sticky piece of paper, right??
I've been pleasantly surprised that these kids get more excited about the stickers – and competing for who has the most on their shirt at the end of the lesson to show to mom and dad – than they do about my tootsie-rolls or Dots.