We have a chalkboard…

by Jen in kids,outside

…in the backyard! In early spring I attended Canada Blooms, the largest flower and gardening show in Canada. Canada Blooms is where you go to be inspired and get ready for the growing season ahead. At this year’s show I was particularly impressed with a garden installation by a company called Beinenstock – Natural Playgrounds. Their space included creative, yet simple, ways to get kids playing outdoors. What stood out for me was the outdoor chalkboard. I love chalk…not chalk dust. In fact I was going to install a chalkboard in our newly reno’d kitchen, until I thought of the dust. Why not take it outside?!
When looking for a board to use I found a 2′ x 4′ piece of hardboard…one side it has a melamine coating…picked it up off the shelf at Home Depot. Alternately you could use a piece of plywood – with a smooth surface. Be sure to prime all side and edges to deter warping.

We primed and painted the raw side of the board with 4 coats of chalkboard paint. For extra protection from the rain, we ran Heavy Duty – All Weather Duct Tape along the edges of the board.

We placed square scraps of wood behind the board, at each corner and at the mid-point. These squares of wood will create a gap between the fence and the board.

Without the gap, water would rest on the top of the board, this way the rain will (hopefully) run behind the board. We used screws and washers to attach the board to the fence. Once attached, the kids did the rest.

The girls love playing with the chalkboard. Living in the city, our yard is small, no one is playing soccer back there. Instead we have to think of creative ways to use the space. The chalkboard is a nice piece that the girls and their friends can enjoy, and when they outgrow it we can simply take it down.
Hot Tip: Try and place your chalkboard in an area of the yard that is in the shade – this will help keep the board from fading and will make a comfortable place for the kids to play

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica Slater presents June 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

Brilliant idea!! C’est fantastique!!! I’m gonna have to steal this one for sure!! I’ve got just the spot to instal one too!!! Thanks for sharing Jen!

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KitchenCounterChronicles June 7, 2011 at 9:36 am

Your backyard is perfect for this project! Thanks Veronica!

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Peggy-Sue June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Awesome! I’m so glad you put one up! Another great thing about having a chalkboard outside – rain (or a blast from a hose – and what kid doesn’t want to spray stuff with a water hose?) keeps it clean!

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D+B June 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Love your blog! its so cute!! I am your newest follower!! Here is my blog also if you would like to follow me back. I am new to this, but I am excited to share my ideas on the love of food.. Also I will be giving away free stuff like my mineral make-up line. so take a look.. And watch out for it. :)
-Brooke
For-The-Luv-Of.blogspot.com

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KitchenCounterChronicles June 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Thanks D+B, glad you are following along!

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Mama Pea Pod June 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I thought I left a message before, but now I don’t see it…oh well. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for linking this up to Outdoor Play – I love this idea! Hope to have you back again tomorrow for this week’s Outdoor Play linky.

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Mama Pea Pod June 17, 2011 at 6:41 am

Just wanted to let you know that this post was featured on this week’s Outdoor Play linky at Mama Pea Pod!

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KitchenCounterChronicles June 17, 2011 at 8:06 am

Thanks Mama Pea Pod! That’s fantastic…I’ll be over in a bit to put up a link!

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