* Wooden spools (available at craft stores)
* Number stickers
* Acrylic paints in different shades of blue
* Sponge brushes
* Rubber band
* Colored pencils
* Yellow eraser pencil toppers
Gather eight spools of the same size and one that's slightly taller. Label the sides of the shorter spools from 1 to 8 with number stickers. Be sure to press the sticker firmly onto the spool.
To make it easier to paint a spool, wrap a rubber band around a pencil a third of the way down and insert it into the spool. Use a sponge brush to dab paint on the spool. Let dry completely and remove sticker.
Line spools up in numerical order from right to left, with the taller spool in the middle or on the left. Insert a colored pencil into a spool each night and "light" by capping with an eraser.
Originally published in the December 2008 issues of Parents magazine.