Summer is fast upon us and one thing I want to work on during the break from school is the kids reading. They both love the routine we have gotten into of us reading to them each night, but I also want to help encourage their own reading progress. I have ordered some beginning levelled readers for my daughter and a few new chapter books that I thought would interest my son, then came up with a fun reward system that has them excited to read daily.
My children like frozen treats in all shapes and forms, so when it came to coming up with a reward system for their summer reading it only made sense to use ice cream and frozen drinks. A lot of these I would likely be treating them to and buying anyways, but this way they are earning them and can feel a sense of accomplishment as they enjoy them.
I looked through several different summer reading tracking ideas on Pinterest, and settled on the idea of making it look like a boardgame. I liked the idea of having that visual tracking as they work towards their goal, and I know a boardgame is something fun and simple they understand. My 8 year old son is also highly competitive and I know he is the one we will have issues getting to read, so having both kids on the same gameboard will encourage him to keep up with his younger sister.
For the physical gameboard, I wanted something magnetic to hang on the wall and stick my pieces to. My initial thought was to use a cookie sheet from the dollarstore, but I was happy to come across this inexpensive whiteboard at Miniso that I knew I could cover and provide that magnetic surface for my game pieces. I have also seen similar magnetic whiteboards at the dollar stores if Miniso is not an option.
Using a template boardgame from Tim’s Printables, I fit it to the size of my board and drew on some ice cream treats and added color to give it more of a Candyland type vibe. Once designed, I printed it out in color on 100lb cardstock and had it laminated for durability. I was planning to use rubber cement to adhere it to the magnetic board, but lucked out and, since it was sized to fit, I was able to just slip the laminated sheet into the whiteboard frame and it held securely in place.
If you have gone out for ice cream with the family recently, you will know that it can add up quite quickly. I love that there are now so many different novelty forms of ice cream and treats out there, but they all come with a price. Because of this, I decided to have two different levels of treats and alternated between inexpensive options like Slurpees and Wendy’s Frosty’s (99 cents all summer) and more gourmet options like rolled ice cream, banana splits or extreme milkshakes. You could easily pick and choose what works best for you.
I color coded between the two different levels of treats and left the reward spaces on the board blank to let the kids pick the treat when they get to each of the blue or pink circles. The choices were made as separate game pieces that I printed and attached to adhesive magnetic sheets to easily stick to the numbered circle spots and move around on the board as the kids see fit.
I decided to go with a spacing of a treat after every 5 days of reading, giving them a chance to earn up to 11 treats over the course of the 55 space board. This should work nicely over the course of the 2 summer months.
For my playing pieces, I wanted a small toy or figure to represent each of my kids. Any small toy like a Shopkin, toy car or Lego minifigure would work. Once my kids had each selected a character from our Lego collection, I hotglued strong magnets to the backs and they were ready to stick to and move along the reward path.
We have several camping trips planned throughout the summer, so I love the portability of the board. I plan to add a 3M command hook in the trailer to hang the board on and continue our progress while we are away from home.
This reward board could easily be adapted and used for other things besides reading. Daily chores or even potty training progress could be tracked daily on the same board. If you do not like my reward pieces, you can create your own set of items for your kids to work towards earning
Make your own board using the FREE printables HERE:
Do you like this idea? What are you planning to encourage your children to keep learning this summer? My kids were excited to see the board and are already begging to get started on earning their frozen treats.