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Sam loves to play outside and I’m glad to have him in the fresh air and getting a little sunshine. Of course summertime activities often include some sort of water play but kids can’t be in the water nonstop (ever hear of the superhero, Prune Boy?). When I saw this great outdoor chalkboard idea from Project Denneler I knew I wanted to make it for Sam. OK, I actually wanted Mike to make it for Sam but then I agreed it would really be a wonderful family project. It truly is an easy DIY. The most difficult part would be trying to heft a large sheet of plywood by yourself. Thankfully I didn’t have to.
- Your kids will have a great time exploring and cooling off with this Dinosaur Party Game: Frozen Fossils.
- These outdoor games will keep everyone entertained.
- Take a peek at these 15 Extremely Clever Outdoor Toy Storage Ideas.
We used a 4 x 8 sheet of exterior grade plywood. Mike lightly sanded the drawing surface side since exterior grade is a little rough. Because Im hoping this chalkboard will last more than a couple of seasons, we opted to first paint the front, back and side edges with just exterior primer (we used a roller with nap: quick!). When that was dry we flipped it over and painted the drawing surface with three coats of chalk spray paint, letting it dry completely between the coats. While we opted to do a black chalkboard, you can make your chalkboard any color. There are a number of homemade chalk paint recipes; the most popular version is:
- 1 cup of exterior paint, any color
- 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout
I guess with some paint the mixture becomes too thick between coats and you might need to add a little water to get the right painting consistency.
If you want a more finished look you could add a frame all around but we were happy with the flat surface, plus Mike was concerned the lip of a frame might hold more water on the chalkboard and cause it to rot quicker.
We mounted the chalkboard on our fence with 1 ¼ screws. Remember to hang it at kid height!
Sam is delighted with his new outdoor art station! Besides using it for the joy of drawing, he has pretended hes a teacher and a mad scientist already. One of the neighbor boys came over and they played a game of adding to each others picture.
This has been a great idea for our family. Since we grill outside a lot during the nice weather, the chalkboard is another activity that keeps Sam happily busy while Mike and I catch up on each others day: win win!
Be sure to check out the rest of the campers amazing projects here:
Find all the supplies you need for a great kid’s project, sourced for you by the Spaceships and Laser Beams team:
- Chalkboard Spray Paint
- Chalkboard Brush-On Paint
- Crayola 48 Count Sidewalk Chalk
- And because I LOVE it: The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up
Plus, get more great kid’s project ideas with these posts:
- Easy Dinosaur Bones Craft
- Kid’s DIY Project: Robot Bank
- DIY Mason Jar Lego Guy
- Mini Super Hero Shield
- Kid’s Let’s Go Bag