Art Ed Wednesday: Chalk it up

Art Ed Wednesday is written each week by Rachel Johnston, a Jackson Parish fiber artist and early childhood art educator. Handmade chalk and chalkboards can be a fun project for kids (and adults!). For the chalkboards, decide which surface you want to use as a board. We used small clipboards from the dollar store.  Give each child a small bowl of chalkboard paint and let them paint their board. With very young children, the surface will probably end up uneven and bumpy, but that’s okay. This is about the process, and they will be proud of their finished chalkboard no matter how it turns out. To make chalk, mix up plaster of paris according to directions on package, and pour into silicone ice trays or muffin pans. Food coloring can be added before pouring into the molds if you want chalk in different colors. Allow chalk to dry completely before removing from molds. Give each child a small sponge to use as an eraser once the boards and chalk are finished. This is also a fun project for kids to make as a gift for a friend, sibling, or cousin.  It is a very messy project though, so it works well outdoors on a nice day to minimize clean up.

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