Is it just me, or is summer just flying by for anyone else? I was the first to sprint outside in shorts and a tank top on the first day the temperature crept over 55, but now school is looming right around the corner and it seems like summer is quickly slipping away. I will definitely miss all of the fun trips to the zoo, park and pool that we've done this summer, but with my daughter's very first day of kindergarten coming up soon, I know it's about time I get off the couch/computer and help Haley prepare, not that she needs much help really. She was ready to kick me out the door the day we visited the school!
When I took Haley into school to take her kindergarten assessment test, they had her do several different activities to determine her readiness (and she passed with flying colors I'm proud to say!) Two of the things they said she needed a little more work on was writing her name, and recognizing/writing her letters. Today, Michael's kicked off a campaign, #Create2Educate, encouraging parents and teachers to incorporate more DIY projects into their plans for the new school year, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make something to encourage my daughter to practice her reading and writing skills in a fun way!
With just a handful of supplies, I came up with a fun and useful chalkboard breakfast tray that can be used to practice writing and word recognition during breakfast time - and it's ridiculously easy to make, which happens to be my favorite kind of crafting :)
ONE: First, tape off the bottom portion of your tray so you can begin painting the sides of your tray.
TWO: Using a foam brush and paint, paint the sides of your tray, being sure to give it at least two coats for good coverage. Let dry.
THREE: Peel off your tape and touch up any areas that need it.
FOUR: Once the paint has dried, tape off the inside sides of your tray and give the bottom of your tray several coats of chalkboard paint (I did 3 coats.) Let dry.
FIVE: Finally, take a piece of chalk and rub it across your board to condition it some. Wipe off.
Now, use chalk markers to write in spaces for your child to spell his/her name (and please ignore the fact that my handwriting looks like a 3rd grade boy's, ahem), and fill in the blank for items that may be on their breakfast tray. For example, I had spaces for Haley to spell "apple" and "cereal" with arrows pointing to each item. I like using the chalk markers because they need water to be wiped off, so your kiddo can use regular chalk to draw and erase if needed, and the chalk marker print won't come off with it.
Haley had a lot of fun with this! Breakfast is a little more fun when you can play with your food ;) If your child isn't into the fill-in-the blanks thing, you could also encourage them to identify colors or shapes drawn on the board - or just let them doodle! Wouldn't this also make a great portable activity board? Bring along a bag of chalk, and the board could be used for checkers, tic-tac-toe, hangman, whatever!
To encourage everyone to incorporate more DIY's into their school preparation, Michael's is offering a chance to win a $50 gift card to readers who create their own back-to-school project and upload a photo to their Instagram using the #Create2Educate and #sweepstakes hashtags before August 15.
If you don't have an Instagram, you can also submit photos via www.michaels.com/
create2educate. A new winner is chosen each day, so go create something awesome!