This post was contributed by Jaimi of The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide.
Make a Chalkboard Geoboard for Some Math Fun!
There are many tutorials for making a DIY geoboard to create great geometry activities for kids. But I have come up with a unique way to modify a geoboard using chalkboard paint to create learning activities for older toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary aged children. Here is what I did to make my geoboard different from the rest.
DIY Chalkboard Geoboard for Math Fun
- 12×12″ wooden board
- latex primer (optional)
- chalkboard paint
- pencil or white/silver permanent marker
- small finishing nails
First, start with a wooden board that is about 12 inches x 12 inches. We had a scrap piece, but at your local hardware store they often cut boards for free to whatever size you like. Sand the edges smooth and use latex primer (optional) to paint the first coat.
Then, chalkboard paint time! Follow the instructions on your can of paint. (My can told me to, after the paint had dried, use the side of a piece of chalk to color over the dry paint, then erase the chalk to prepare the surface for use. Your directions may be different.)
I used a ruler to place dots at inch-wide intervals all over the board. A silver permanent marker helped so I could easily locate the dots for the next step.
Time to hammer in the nails. Working outside was great! It took a few minutes to hammer into each dot leaving about ½ -inch of nail above the board so we could loop on our rubber bands.
You are ready to draw on shapes! For my Kindergartner, I drew on a few shapes to start so he could get some fine motor practice forming the shapes with the rubber bands as well as mental exercise of matching his shapes to mine. He (of course) then wanted to try drawing on his own shapes.
How do you erase to reuse the chalkboard? An eraser made with a popsicle stick and scrap piece of fabric or felt!
Place a dot of hot glue on the end of a popsicle stick. Attach the fabric piece and press lightly. Wrap the fabric around the stick once, then add more glue, then wrap agaun, then more glue until the fabric is completely wrapped and attached to the stick. You will have an eraser that fits through the rows of nails-and adds even more fine motor and eye-hand coordination practice for kids.
For older toddlers, (2 ½ to 3 years), sit with them and help them place rubber bands (or hair bands like this post suggests) on the nails to form the drawn shapes. This is a great invitation to play for preschoolers when you draw the shapes on the board so they can start the activity and then take their turn trying to draw other shapes and form them with the bands. Here is an alternative idea from Little Bins for Little Hands and another from Crayon Box Chonicles. It is great to have unique geoboard ideas so you can make the one that works best for you!
There are many free printable templates to extend this activity, too. Simply laminate, then draw on shapes or simple images. To easily laminate any of these free printables, just slip them in a gallon zip-top bag. (This is a frugal lamination idea that I shared with my Facebook likers first.) Drawing on the templates themselves becomes another great writing and fine motor learning activity for your child to try!
We had fun learning with our easy DIY Chalkboard Geoboard, and I hope you will as well. For more frugal, simple activities for making math fun for Preschoolers check out my Preschool Activities page.
Jaimi is the mom of a 5-year old son and a 2-year old daughter. She also has twins on the way! She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, taught preschool and cared for infants, toddlers and preschoolers while working in child care before having her own children. Her main mission is to motivate moms! On her blog, The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide, she shares simple activities that teach, faith-based mom motivation, information about child development and quick tips all to help moms find the joy in motherhood.
I am blown away with this version of a geoboard! How super cool and definitely more likely to make math fun for kids. Thanks for sharing this great idea, Jaimi!
How do you make math fun for your kids? Share your ideas in the comments below!
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