Our niece Lily celebrated her 2nd birthday at the end of January. Keane and I spent the month brainstorming gift ideas that would not only be useful, but also meaningful.
After going back and forth between books, clothes and toys, we decided to build her a giant chalkboard so she could let her creativity run free.
Our original plan was to buy a piece of plywood and paint it with chalkboard paint, but once we were at the hardware store, we found a much more convenient solution. They actually sold precut boards with chalkboard texture on one side. We picked that up for under $10, along with some molding and finishing nails.
The project was very simple and only took about an hour to complete. Keane cut 4 pieces of wood and screwed them around the border on the backside of the chalkboard. This provided a frame for the board.
He then measured, cut and nailed the molding along the front side for a finished look. We filled the nail holes with spackle and painted the trim white.
We gave Lily sidewalk chalk to use with her new chalkboard since it's easier than regular chalk for small two-year-old hands to grasp.
Lily loved her gift and immediately went to town drawing "pictures" of everyone in the room. She would say, "I love mama!" and draw her mom; "I love Kelly!" and draw me. Oh and she has called Keane "Uncle Papa" from the time she could talk which breaks my heart into tiny pieces. So cute!
If you are looking for a cheap, easy gift idea for little ones, this is a winner. For older children, you could screw it to the wall but for toddlers, it's the perfect size to prop against the wall with an anchor for support. Also, it turns out that chalk is super fun to break into tiny pieces and carry around in your big girl purse.