DIY constellation reward board…that glows in the dark!

I am so excited to share today’s DIY with you – only because the girls have been as excited about it as I have. And well, let’s just say dipped kitchen jars – no matter their amazingness ;) - don’t quite work as well on them. But a reward chart with magnetic gold stars? AND their own names on it? AND it glows in the dark?! Booooyaaah – we’ve got a winner!

Since baby #3 is due to arrive in May, hubby and I have been trying to get the girls to do as much on their own as possible and help out. But all we got was a “kicking-and-rolling-on-the-floor-trying-to-put-her-shoes-on” Olivia and a “but-muuuuum-my-legs-are-to-tired-to-carry-this-spoon” Madeline. We were making real progress here friends, obviously. Until I made these board for them. Now, they want to do everything and anything on their own to get a star! It’s like, I can retire as a mama and just wait for my kids by the pool with a (virgin) margarita in my hand while they clean up the house. Almost.

How it works: the rule is pretty easy, they get a star when they are nice/helpful, and once they earn enough stars to spell out their entire name they get a prize – sometimes of their own choosing, something hubby and I come up with something. The starts are magnetic and super easy for them to move back and forth. Right now we’re giving away stars left and right because we just started with it and want them to think it’s super fun. The girls get a start for getting dressed/undressed on their own, putting their shoes on on their own in the morning (was a BIG battle with Olivia before!), helping to set and clean the table, cleaning up their toys, when they are super nice to each other or other kids, etc. Once all of these things start becoming habits to them (and they get older), we’ll tell them about other ways that they can earn stars.

Oh, and yes, like I said, these board also GLOW IN THE DARK! Because we all know that something that glows in the dark is 100 times cooler to kids. And to my hubby  too ;) Totally optional but a nice final touch. I only added glow paint to the names, although you could go all out and paint the magnetic stars with invisible glow paint also to make it extra cool.

 

What you need:

What you do:

Stars

  1. Cut out your stars in the clay of your liking (air dry, fimo, salty dough, etc)
  2. Once the stars are dry/baked, paint them in gold. Apply as many coats as needed. 
  3. Apply sealer so the paint will no chip away.
  4. Glue a magnet to the back of the stars with some super glue – watch out not to put any on your fingers!

Magnetic board

  1. Prime your plywood board with a first coat of magnetic paint. Let it dry. Reapply several coats until the board becomes magnetic enough – I did 5 coats total for mine, but that will depend on how string your magnets are. To know when you have enough coats, take your magnets and try them on the board – if they stick, you’re good!
  2. Paint one coat of dark blue paint, let it dry. Apply a second coat if need. Make sure you leave your board out to dry 24 hours before moving on to the next steps. Quick tips: When selecting the shade of blue you want for the board, remember that it will be applied on the dark coat of magnetic paint, and because of that it will end up on the darker side.
  3. Dip a big paint brush in a bit of white paint (not too much, you don’t want the paint to drip), and run your fingers against the brush to splatter paint on the board to create a night sky. Repeat with gold paint.
  4. Paint name of child with white paint in a “constellation font”. It’s pretty easy – straight lines in between stars, more or less - practice on a piece of paper first like I did so you know how you want to write it. Include as many stars as you want.
  5. If you want the board to glow in the dark, apply a coat of white glow in the dark paint on top of the white paint. You could of course paint the child’s name with the white glow in the dark paint directly so save a step, but I found that having the name written with regular white acrylic paint made it nicer. 
  6. Apply sealer to protect your board. Let it dry. Et voila :)

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Comments
12 Responses to “DIY constellation reward board…that glows in the dark!”
  1. Ju says:

    So good ! Your lovely girls are lucky to have such a creative mommy !
    My boys would love these ! The only thing I would do differently: hang the boards side by side so my cute little fellows can rearrange the stars like they want without disturbing one another.
    Totally feel for you as far as the ‘put on your shoes’ is concerned :)

    • audrey says:

      IT’s funny you’d say that, Ju :) Because they are usually actually sitting side by side in our dining room – but I had to find a prettier setting for the pics and lining up that way made more sense for the pics. But you are so right, much easier side by side to not annoy the siblings ;) xx

  2. Sarah says:

    Absolutely the coolest reward chart I’ve ever seen! So pretty and fun!

  3. Nina says:

    Super sympa comme idée! Et utile en plus de ça! A retenir pour quand j’aurai des enfants à mon tour haha ;)

  4. Oh my – we are totally on the same wavelength with the constellation themes!! I LOVE this DIY! I remember as a kid, I loved looking at the stars, and pretty much anything having to do with star shapes :) I put glow in the dark stars on my ceiling so I could see them in bed! I bet the girls love seeing their names at night with all the stars (I know I would!)

    • audrey says:

      Yes, the girls love them! Olivia even started cleaning up her room without me asking just so she can get a star – well, also, she’s pretty proud of herself when she does it :) we’ll see how long that lasts ;)

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, how I love this DIY – Audrey, you’re so – so – so super creative!!

    I’ve been thinking of trying some reward system for Charlie now that we need to learn to use the potty… but some silver star stickers on a sheet of white A4 paper doesn’t really seem to make him too excited… (not that I exactly blame him…) maybe something like this would work. Or maybe when he gets a bit older, as he learns to do his own chores… and if a reward system still fails, then at least it’s a very lovely and personal piece of artwork.

    I love it!!

    • audrey says:

      Oh so glad you like it, Elizabeth :) The girls are really loving it – and I love having it around too- and it’s really helped us, so maybe it will work on Charlie too. The great thing about this is that it let’s you see your own parameters and you can take it as slow or fast as your child will let you, for whatever you want (potty training first but then helping out around the house or good behavior). Let me know if you try it!

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