Big Hands, Crafts, Everyday Life, Little Hands, Two Legged Fun

Read for Treats! Printable Reward Chart

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Game Pieces

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

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.

Reading Rewards Game Board_Free Printable Reward Chart

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:

ReadingRewards_Gameboard

ReadingRewards_GamePieces

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.

 

 

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Big Hands, Crafts, Travel

Mickey and Minnie Disney Savings Jars

Mickey & Minnie Disney Savings Jars

In January I posted about the calendar sticker system we have implemented to reward our kids for good behaviour and help them save money for our November trip to Walt Disney World.  I have begun paying the kids out monthly and wanted a cute place for them to start saving their money.   I am proud to share these Mickey and Minnie savings jars I came up with!

Mickey & Minnie Disney Savings Jars Continue reading “Mickey and Minnie Disney Savings Jars”

Big Hands, Celebrations, Crafts, GIfts, Little Hands

DIY K-Cup Advent Calendar

DIY K-cup Advent Wreath

Somewhere between having 2 kids and becoming a stay at home mom, I became a coffee drinker.  I managed to make it through 4 years of university without touching a cup of coffee, but the sleepless nights with newborns and long days with toddlers quickly turned it into my preferred form of caffeine.

Coffee Continue reading “DIY K-Cup Advent Calendar”

Big Hands, Crafts, Gift Ideas, Little Hands

Gingerbread Play-dough Cookie Making Kit

Gingerbread Play-dough_Cookie Making Kit

Are you looking for a fun and imaginative gift for the young kids on your gift giving list?  This Gingerbread Play-dough Cookie Making Kit is sure to spark creativity and add extra cheer this holiday season.  It is quick and easy to put together with my printable labels and a bit of cooking to mix up the gingerbread scented dough.

Gingerbread Play-dough Continue reading “Gingerbread Play-dough Cookie Making Kit”

Big Hands, Crafts

Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage

Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage_Halloween 2016

Even though I knew I would be spending way too much time making our Pokémon themed pumpkins this week, I didn’t want my daughter to feel completely left out.  When I saw a bag of tiny white pumpkins at the grocery store, I knew right away that they would make the perfect wheels for a quick and easy Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage.

Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage_Halloween 2016 Continue reading “Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage”

Big Hands, Celebrations, Crafts

Gotta Carve ‘Em All

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Eevee and Pokeballs

We have carved our pumpkins a bit early this year thanks to a Pumpkin Carving contest at my son’s elementary school this week.  Since I was tasked with running the contest, I knew I had to come up with something awesome for our submission.

What better place to go for ideas then your children?  When I asked my 6 year old what kind of pumpkin he would like, he quickly suggested Pokémon as our theme.  Since his favourite character is Eevee, it was no surprise when he asked that I recreate one in pumpkin.  And you can’t have a Pokémon without a Pokeball so my husband also suggested we find some small pumpkins to transform into Pokeballs.

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Eevee and Pokeballs

My Eevee was actually fairly simple to carve and create using 3 pumpkins.  I found a great white pumpkin that I knew would work great as Eevee’s fur collar and found a smaller orange pumpkin to stack on top as his head.  I then purchased an additional oval shaped pumpkin I could use to cut out his long pointy ears.

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Pumpkins for Eevee
Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Eevee and Pokeballs Lit

For the Pokeball’s, I found these great little round white pumpkins that I knew would work perfect with a bit of paint.  I was intended to make the traditional red and white ball, but my son requested that I also make an Ultraball and a Masterball.  Who knew there were so many different types?!

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Pokeball Ultraball Masterball

I made a template to carve out each of the pumpkins to look like the balls were opening up and a flash of light was coming out like in the show/game.  I then painted their tops with acrylic paint and finished them off with a ring of black electrical tape and a black and white paper circle glued to the center.  For the ultraball, I added yellow electrical tape for the stripes and used a pink sheet of foam and white duct tape for the finishing details on the Masterball.  Since the pumpkins were already white, I was able to leave the bottom portions as is.

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Pokeball Carving Template
Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Painting Masterball

I think the finished pokeballs look awesome both on their own and lit up, and are the perfect complement to our Eevee.

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Pokeballs

I usually like to theme our Halloween pumpkins to the kids costumes, just like my Olaf and BB8 pumpkins from last year, but this year I really struggled to come up with anything to go with the kids Batman and Batgirl costumes.  I was apprehensive when my son suggested Eevee and I was unable to find any inspiration online, but the actual carving of the face was pretty simple.  I am happy with the final result and hopefully my pumpkin will help inspire the other Eevee fans out there!

Pokemon Halloween Pumpkins_Eevee and Pokeballs

I am not sure my carved pumpkins will survive until Halloween night, but we did end up winning the Halloween carving contest (I promise it wasn’t rigged).  Watching my son race around the kitchen island in excitement after I tallied up the votes and told him we had won was enough to make it all worth spending my entire Wednesday evening carving and painting pumpkins!