There are so, so many things out there to make us parents feel guilty. Watching our kids get sucked into screen time is one of those things. Using screen time so you can have “me” time is worth double the guilt.
One thing you’ll never feel bad about is giving into arts and crafts time. Art projects spark your child’s creative side (and maybe your creative side) and allow you to spend quality time together. These projects are great … until the kid grabs the paint, the scissors, or one of the brightly colored markers when you aren’t looking and destroys your newly painted walls.
When you want an art project that keeps them busy but is much easier to clean, try one of our best chalkboards for kids. Whether you choose a chalkboard easel, a wall-mounted chalkboard, or another format, kids can draw over and over and over with minimal mess. Some chalk is dusty, but it’s pretty easy to clean compared to some other art supplies (said markers).
And when art time is over, the kids chalkboard just gets erased, so you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing out paper artwork. (They know these are not keepers going into it, so no guilt here!)
Best Durable Kids Chalkboard
This Little Partners two-sided easel with chalkboard and magnetic dry erase board has a little higher price than some other options, but its durability and overall build quality are impressive. If your kids seem to enjoy full-contact art projects, this easel will stand up to rough treatment. With two sides, two kids can be using it at the same time. (We can’t guarantee that they won’t fight over who uses which side, but there’s always hope they’ll just play quietly.) There’s a paper roll across the top to expand the art project options available. It even has a clip on the side, so you can hang and dry paintings. It has plenty of places to store art supplies, as well as a tray to catch errant paint or a dropped dry erase marker. Best of all, the frame is a stylish espresso color, so you won’t have to feel embarrassed about an ugly gaudy colored plastic easel on display while the kid is drawing.
One Reviewer Says: “Very good quality, sturdy materials. Bought for my daughter's 2nd birthday and she loves this easel! White board wipes clean, doesn't absorb color, a little tall for my 2-year-old but she will be able to use it for years. Love that it comes with a paper roll and the clips really help. The storage area is also nice for helping keep the easel tidy when not in use.”
Best Playroom Chalkboards For Kids
If you are living in the house of a kid who loves the Frozen franchise, you’ve probably heard every song in the movie — rough estimate — 15 billion times. At some point, enough is enough. That’s why we like this Frozen chalkboard for kids. It feeds the frenzy that your kids have for Frozen, but it doesn’t make a sound. Doesn’t play a single musical note. Phew. Anyway — this is a two-sided easel with chalkboard and magnetic dry-erase board. It has a couple of fabric storage bins underneath for holding art supplies or all of the tiny Frozen toys your kids have collected. If you like the board but don’t have Frozen fever, you’ll be happy to know it also comes in Mickey, Minnie, and Paw Patrol.
One Reviewer Said: “My baby girl is 5 and she LOVES it. She is obsessed with Frozen and she loves the chalk and dry-erase board options. She goes back and forth between the sides and is entertained for hours. We love the storage at the bottom as well. When she's playing for a long time she uses her little chair from her frozen activity table and sits in front of the easel.”
If this is the first chalkboard your child’s trying out, it might be best to go for a two-in-one option that also has a wipe-off dry-erase board. This Amagoing easel will fit perfectly in a playroom or bedroom. This board also comes with magnets, if you want to add to your child’s creativity. Of course, one of the best functions of this board is the fact that it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. It’d make a perfect gift for toddlers who are hoping to improve their spatial and visual awareness. Is pink not your color? That’s okay — this board also comes in blue.
One Reviewer Said: “My son wants to be an artist when he grows up and this is the perfect item for him to express himself. It could be painting, drawing with markers, using the chalk, or making drawings with the magnets. This kept him busy for hours. It also came with shorter legs for smaller kids.”
Sometimes, the low-frill option is the best one for your situation. This chalkboard comes with a pack of letters and numbers that’ll help your toddler learn the alphabet and basic math. It’s on the smaller side, which is still perfect and much less intimidating for your littles. If they get bored drawing on it, you can use it to create a word of the day, especially if you’re seeking more at-home educational activities for your kiddos. Each piece that comes with this board has a full magnetic backing, and they’re thick enough to be easily maneuvered by tiny hands.
One Reviewer Said: “My 3-year-old son greatly enjoys this magnetic board and parts. He tends to play with toys a little more roughly but this board has held up! No parts have broken and although he has tried to peel the magnetic part off the letters he has been unsuccessful. I love that the loose pieces came in a mesh bag so I didn't have to find a way to keep track of them. The board is the perfect size and the letters are great for modeling so he can trace around them or try to copy them by looking. I also appreciate the slightly bigger eraser which my son uses to practice his gross motor skills.”
Best Chalkboards You Can Travel With
For fun with chalk while on the go, this chalkboard briefcase is perfect to keep the little ones busy when sitting. The entire case will fit in the lap of children as young as 3. One side of the wooden briefcase slides out of the frame, revealing storage underneath for art supplies. The part that slides has a chalkboard on one side and a dry-erase whiteboard on the other side. Now we can’t guarantee that once they’re bored with drawing, they won’t make a fun game out of sliding the lid out of place and dumping out all of the art supplies, watching you swear under your breath while picking them up, only to dump them out again five minutes later. But maybe you’ll get lucky and have a kid who doesn’t tire of drawing after five minutes.
One Reviewer Said: “This little case is so beloved. It's carried around with no problems by the 2-year-old... She loves it. It keeps her really busy...”
Traveling with your chalkboard couldn’t be easier with this tabletop easel. This board has a whiteboard segment on the other side that has a clip to showcase your child’s latest masterpiece. It also comes with 4 non-toxic washable markers, white chalk, and an eraser to help you or your kid create multiple chalk sketches and drawings. The best part of all? It folds up and has a convenient carry handle, which means you can easily bring it with you on vacation for screenless fun.
One Reviewer Said: “My newly turned 2-year-old loves this as he is now discovering lines and drawing on paper. I love that you have a blackboard on one side and white on the other. He tends to still put things in his [mouth] so I mainly use the whiteboard for now so he doesn’t eat the call. I love that it folds into a carry case and can be brought on road trips...”
This VersaChalk chalkboard is just the right size for kids at 13 by 9 inches, and kids can use it as it’s standing upright or lying down. This is a great size of chalkboard when the kids are sitting at the table and need something to do while waiting for meal time. With its stylish wooden frame, you can leave it on display in your home all of the time. And when the kids are done using it, you can add cute messages for the family on it. Unless you have a kid who bursts into tears when someone else erases his drawings from a chalkboard. Then just leave the kid’s drawings on it until the next time. Less drama is always better.
One Reviewer Said: “ The chalkboard I received was very well put together, seems very sturdy, and is perfect for my use. I have been using it to count down the days until school starts on my mantel. Now that school is starting, I'll be using it for quotes of the day. It is a very nice size without being too big or too little.”
Having a tabletop chalkboard at home is pretty useful. Not only can it help distract kids during big, important family dinners, but it can also help announce what’s on the table. Have a kid who likes playing restaurant? Then, this will fit in right in. They can draw today’s specials, or what their soup of the day is. For such a good price, it actually makes a lot of sense to have this chalkboard handy. You can buy it in one of five wood colors.
One Reviewer Said: “I bought this little chalkboard for my two year old son for Christmas. I was looking for something inexpensive, decent quality, yet not over the top. This chalkboard did not disappoint. It is easy to clean, lightweight, sturdy and well crafted. It is almost too nice for a two year old. If you have kids you know what I'm talking about.”
Unconventional Children’s Chalkboards
Maybe one chalkboard isn’t enough in your house. Maybe you have multiple kids for whom taking turns is a foreign concept. Maybe you just like chalkboards so much you’ve contemplated painting an entire interior wall of your home with chalkboard paint. This roll of contact paper that doubles as a chalkboard surface was made with you in mind. It measures about 18 by 96 inches when rolled out, so you have space for several kids to draw simultaneously, whether you adhere it to the wall with the sticky backing or lay it on the floor and leave the backing paper attached. Now we’re going to assume your kids can all draw together without moving into each other’s “space” or “touching” each other. If not, you can cut this large roll into smaller pieces and send each kid to his or her separate corner of the house. (Some days, we all feel like boxing match referees.)
One Reviewer Said: “I purchased this paper for my 3-year-old grandson so that he could learn to write his name and numbers. I cut it so that it covered the bottom half of my slider door, Velcro’d a little holder for the chalk and cloth, and placed it just above the paper. Instant chalkboard!”
If your kid’s going to write on the wall, why not make it easier? This chalkboard paint may very well change up your whole routine. Just imagine — a spare wall in the kitchen can serve as your own to-do list with a little bit of this stuff. Chalkboard walls can be a big hit in making your child’s room special, and it’s relatively inexpensive to boot. This particular brand is water-based and non-toxic, and can also be used to decorate small surfaces. Warning: you might need a few coats if you’re hoping to tackle a wall.
One Reviewer Said: “Seems to work really well. I have used this to paint over the glass on picture frames to use as a chalkboard sign and I liked the consistency on this and I liked that it came with foam brushes for me.”
We all love toys that spark creativity like chalkboards for kids. But there are also times where you want some mindless toys to keep the little monsters occupied while you relax. We’ve got those in our toy guides.
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