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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:
Clay. I used air dry clay because I love to work with it, but you could also make this with Fimo clay to make sturdier stars, or salty dough so you can make them with your child.
Star shaped cutter, or just a knife
Magnets – pick them pretty strong.
Plywood board- I picked mine up at Michael’s, mine is 1/8 x 12 x 24 inches (3mm x 30 cm x 60cm for those of you using the metric system). Super light!
Paint in dark blue, white and gold
Optional: Glow paint if you want to make it glow in the dark. I picked up the white acrylic glow paint.
What you do:
Cut out your stars in the clay of your liking (air dry, fimo, salty dough, etc)
Once the stars are dry/baked, paint them in gold. Apply as many coats as needed.
Apply sealer so the paint will no chip away.
Glue a magnet to the back of the stars with some super glue – watch out not to put any on your fingers!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apply sealer to protect your board. Let it dry. Et voila