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Another school year has come and gone, and I'm not sure about your kids, but mine are jumping for joy that school is out! It's finally summer!! Time to enjoy the great outdoors. I'm always excited for that day when we can say goodbye to schedules, mundane routines and getting up before the sun rises. If any of your kids love sidewalk chalk as much as my kids do, we know where it all ends up. Aside from the sidewalk, driveway, and fences, somehow my kids are covered from head to toe in a beautiful array of colors.

Last summer I had the great idea of building an outdoor chalkboard for my little ones. BEST IDEA EVER!! The great thing about building your own chalkboard is that you can make it however large or small you want it, place it anywhere that works for your yard, and make it any color your heart desires. I did some research on plywood (I know, I have quite an exciting life when I'm researching plywood) and decided to go with marine plywood (ya know, the wood they build boats out of). I wanted it to hold up to the rain and snow. They don't carry that type of plywood at Lowes, so I ended up going to ProBuild. I wanted the largest chalkboard I could make, so I kept it the size of a full sheet of plywood, 4'X8'. I primed it 2 times with an outdoor primer (front and back) and then came the exciting part, picking the color! I love the look of the old school chalkboards so I went with green! The best part about this, is that you don't need to buy the expensive chalkboard paint (is it even made for the outdoors?) All you need is a quart of exterior paint mixed with unsanded tile grout. Mix 1 cup of paint to 2 tablespoons of grout. And paint away, my friends. I framed the chalkboard with some regular old pine boards after I primed the heck out of them. I wanted to keep the chalk dry so I added an enclosed porch mailbox to the bottom of my chalkboard. We hung our chalkboard on the posts of our fence and bolted it on with 4 lag bolts. 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom of the chalkboard. And wa-lah! Chalkboard is complete.

We placed ours on our playground near our sandbox. It is a wonderful shaded area in our yard. It has brought hours of entertainment for my kids. I also find myself enjoying their art on the chalkboard instead of their clothes.

Check out some of these other incredible outdoor chalkboards!

Jeana Proctor is a contributing blogger at PRIME RESIDENTIAL

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