If like us, you need some kids chalk, a chalkboard board and easel for your children then you need to read this.
Over recent months my husband and I have been home-schooling our two children and initially we just thought we’d make do with what we readily had available but as time has gone on, we have invested in some items to make things easier and add a bit of variety to the learning.
We bought a Casdon 669 Toy, Multi Colour Chalkboard easel because it looked to be exactly what we were after. As a bonus it was double sided and had the normal blackboard we wanted, but on the other side it has a whiteboard.
We’d not thought about a whiteboard until we saw it, but it has been very useful and it means that both our children can use it simultaneously.
It has a useful tray underneath to keep the chalk and a sponge. We have used the chalkboard so much in the last few months that we’ve had to buy quite a bit of extra chalk.
The wooden frame feels nice and sturdy, and it’s easy to set up and fold away after use. The kids really enjoy using it and as a parent I feel it has really helped with their schooling.
Best Chalk for Kids and Toddlers
We used the board so often that we quickly had to order some extra chalk as we were really getting through it. When we went for the replacement chalk, we opted for two types. Firstly, for the chalkboard and whiteboard we went for some “Metallic Chalk Pens” with the 6mm chisel tips. You get 10 different colours in the pack.
We also bought some “pavement chalk” or hopscotch chalk as we call it. The brand we went for is a Jumbo Chalk called Giant Chalks and you get twenty chalks with assorted colours in a big resealable tub. We bought the chalk via Amazon*.
These were good value and Ashton and Amelia (my two) had hours of fun with them. Perfect size wise for kids and the chalk feels smoother than old fashioned blackboard chalk and they come in vivid colours.
You can wash it off when you’ve finished but we just leave whatever they draw on the back patio and it stays there until it rains! Our hopscotch chalk is often referred to as pavement chalk or jumbo chalk.
What prompted this article?
As a parenting and lifestyle blog that just happens to be called “Chalk Kids” we often used to get people searching on the internet for things like the “best chalk for kids” and “best chalk board” who would end up on our website. When they arrived though they found we didn’t actually talk about chalk at all!
However, because of our recent foray into “home schooling” sessions with our kids, two of the Chalk Kids team, myself and Tanya found that we needed to buy a chalk board and some chalk for our home school lessons. The penny still didn’t drop immediately as daft as it sounds, but we are always looking for products to review so eventually Tanya said “hey what about the chalkboards we bought?
We all know chalk I guess from our childhood days at school and drawing out “hopscotch” in the playground or on the pavement outside our house. I think that was partly in mind when the name was thought up for this blog.
Home School Planning
With our home schooling we tried where possible, to plan out a weekly timetable for their lessons with as much variety as possible and make each week different as well. This was initially based on advice we had been given by the school and on my hubby’s experience as a development coach.
When he devises training/coaching sessions or a presentation day he says he likes to involve the delegates in a variety of activities. Making them get up and do things to get involved rather than them just sitting all day and him talking, stood by a flip chart and/or going through PowerPoint slides.
This technique really maintains their concentration levels and helps to embed the learning.
We found this was terrific for the kids as they were active and engaged for longer periods. I’ll be honest varying the subjects/lessons daily/weekly also helped with my boredom levels too!
We found getting the kids to brainstorm after each session by using the chalkboard to write key words from the session really helped.
We really try to make it fun because when they laugh, they learn. In recent months we’ve done more crafting as a family than we ever have before and getting those creative juices flowing keeps the engagement levels at maximum.
Probably the thing that surprised me the most was daft games that you can use for counting and maths. We used some of our chalk to play number and alphabet hopscotch.
We were careful to build in regular breaks and kept the actual sessions quite short. When the weather is good, we always do what we can outside. Whenever we were planning to do some reading, we would go to the park or sit in the garden.
Our whole approach to home schooling was we knew we couldn’t possibly imitate or replicate the classroom setting, so we didn’t really try to. We just did things our way and it seemed to really work.
What we use the Chalkboard for
Writing exercises were done with the help of the chalkboard and the white board. So much more fun than just writing in an exercise book. Yes, they did use their books because we and they wanted a permanent record of what they’d done, but we would start and go through the layout of the lesson on the board first.
Cooking was also used as a learning tool. We would get them to read the recipe and take turns to write the next line of recipe of on the chalkboard for us to carryout those instructions.
We did some simple bakes at first and tried for some recipes with easy ingredients to get hold of. We incorporated into the “school day” lunches and “tea breaks” where we’d eat what we’d cooked. Our eldest Amelia became a bit of a food critic and would write a review of the food we’d cooked. She can be a harsh critic!
We have been so pleased with the chalkboard and chalk that we’ve bought. It has genuinely helped with the kids schooling and the whole family has had so much fun. It has been many years since I played hopscotch and I wholeheartedly recommend you play it with the family. *We are an Amazon affiliate. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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