fun kids space

Chalkboard Paint – Review

I had always imagined my children playing in their rooms. They would spend time there, reading books, playing with building cubes, jumping on their beds eventually… it would their place, away from the parents, to be the children they wanted to be. Turns out, our kids never spent a minute in their rooms. Instead, transforming our living room into a battlefield, seemed much more enjoyable.

Then came the summer when baby #3 was old enough to add her madness to my living room, and enough was enough. Those kids would need to start playing in their rooms and I started researching the best ways to entice them to spend more time in their personal spaces.

They went to the local Montessori school time at the time. Having always loved the Montessori philosophy and seeing how much they enjoyed it as little students, I decided to re-create the playful environment. Many websites described the perfect Montessori bedroom with toys at children’s reach, open shelves, mattresses on the floor instead of beds… While I did not incorporate every single element in each room, our youngest daughter got the open shelves with her favorite colorful wooden toys and musical instruments widely exposed. When she first entered her bedroom, she was immediately drawn towards her toys and started playing. As per the Montessori guidelines, I installed a play area on the floor, made up of a rug, mirror, and baskets with hard cover books. She picked up a toy, naturally went to sit on the rug by the mirror and started to play. Every once in a while, she’d lose interest in her toys – I’d pack them up and bring out new ones. I had found an easy way for my 1-year old to play and entertain herself! Best part, I had not spent a dime. Re-organizing the space and re-purposing items we already owned is all it took to create a playful environment. Toys went from being forgotten at the bottom of drawers to being displayed in full-baby-sight and played with! Goal #1 was reached!

I then moved on to the harder task of creating a playful space for my 4-year old. Neither her, nor her 3-year old brother, had really ever played with toys. They’d use sticks and remotes, balls and clubs, but toys had never interested them. I started by creating a reading nook for them, using a mattress we did not need and adding customized pillows, leaving books in baskets for them to see and grab. That worked well but I was missing the “playful” I had in mind. Until I remembered a project I had always wanted to take on but never been bold enough to implement. I went and got Chalkboard Paint!

Oh my…

Using painters tape to create straight lines and double coating the paint, I created a giant chalkboard wall! I kept it all at the children’s level so they wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by a tall wall. We mounted a little black wall shelf, where we left their chalks easily accessible from their height. And off they went with their imaginations…. They spent countless hours scribbling, drawing, writing in their room. Once in a while, I’d use the wall to teach letters or numbers. Adults themselves quite enjoyed it too… 😉 and their little friends loved coming over to draw on the “black wall.”

                                                     

Miraculously, my children started playing in their rooms. We had created a little children’s paradise and we all started spending time in their rooms, role-playing, drawing, comfortably reading books. It all happened on a very small budget because we re-purposed items to make them work for the kids. As for the paint, we used this one and loved it:

I did prime first and double-coat for good results. Once the paint dried up, they also recommend chalking the entire wall once and wiping it off for best performance, which we did. The kids have drawn on their wall for almost 2 years, and once they’re done, we simply wipe it down with a hand towel. When it gets messy, I will use a wet towel to clean it all up!

A couple of other brands exist, which we have not tested:

                           

One version of the product is clear, instead of the traditional black, allowing you to write with chalk on an already colored wall, door, dresser, etc:

Have fun and share photos of your projects! Happy painting!

 

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