In a former life I was a teacher. Middle school, yes, indeed! Every fall, I get the urge to buy pencils, markers, paper, highlighters and sundry school supplies. Whether I need them or not.
This year, with our son two-and-a-half, I can almost justify it! I’ll actually be doing lightly “structured” preschool lessons with him in the fall. We’ll keep it low-key. I’m planning to use the Letter of the Week curriculum I found online for free, and a Hands On Homeschooling curriculum for two-year-olds. Just easy activities around important readiness skills.
Of course, prepping for “teaching” left me itching to “craft” – when I had my own classroom, I LOVED creating bulletin boards, learning centers, reading nooks and more for my students! So I was excited to be chosen to create a Personalized Back to School Craft as part of the Elmer’s #GlueNGlitter project!
I’ve wanted to check out Elmer’s Single Painters for awhile now, and this was my chance! Check out all the colors you can get! After creating a List.ly shopping list, I went shopping at Walmart for supplies.
I intended to make a personalized lunchbox for “field trips” to the local museum and park in the fall. But as all the lunchboxes at Walmart had licensed characters on them, I couldn’t find a “blank slate.” So I had to change my idea mid-shop!
Then I saw these great silver dry-erase boards, and was so taken, I imagined up a craft on the spot just so I could buy it! To complement the Letter of the week curriculum, I decided to make a personalized “busy board” craft.
Ingredients For A Personalized Busy Board:
- Dry erase board of generous size (may I recommend the cool silver ones!?) – mine is 17×17 and cost under $10
- Elmer’s Single Painters – paint markers. Get a bunch of colors! You’ll need ‘em! I spent about $10 on 5 colors
- Magnets (optional, and two come with the board I bought).
- Stickers (optional)
- Traceable letters, or printout of lettering to reverse transfer onto your board
How to Make a Personalized Busy Board:
To start, I divided the board into four sections by lightly drawing with a pencil. (The Letter of the Week curriculum teaches a different letter, number, color, and shape each week).
Then, because I hate my handwriting, and I can’t draw anything freehand (love clip art, stamping, and tracing!), I printed out my son’s name, and the section titles in large fonts. For the section titles I used TraceFont, a dotted line font for preschoolers to trace! (Clever, right?).
To transfer this font onto the dry erase board, I flipped the printout over and heavily traced the lettering backwards with a graphite pencil.
Then I taped the paper right side up into position on the dry erase board, and heavily traced the lettering frontwards, which pushed the graphite on the back of the paper onto the dry erase board. It comes out SUPER light, I couldn’t even photograph it, and had to lean sideways to see the transfer. But it was JUST enough for me to neatly trace over the lettering with my Elmer’s Single Painters and have everything be the perfect size! I definitely cannot do this on my own – my writing would slant up or down or grow larger or smaller! I am so happy with how it turned out!
Finally, I just sectioned off the board with some wavy lines. Add your own touch here, you artistic people! Dots, swirls, stickers, magnets, apples, books, schoolbuses. For me, I’ll stop while I’m ahead!
I plan to use this board to showcase the weekly learning concepts. Also I’ll have my son use magnetic letters, numbers, shapes and colors to play games and practice his skills on the board.
Having a personalized board means he knows this is his “space” to play and learn. The first time I showed him the busy board, of course he was intruiged. When I asked if he could find his name, and he immediately pointed to the top, and got really excited! He loves recognizing his name (and he can spell it too!), so I know this board will be special to him all year.
He started playing with it already, trying to match his magnetic letters up to the titles lettering! Smart boy!
Liked this craft? Please “pin it” using the button at the bottom of this post! What Back To School Crafts are you working on?
DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are 100% my own.