How do you know you are a homeschooling parent, or even just a parent? Well, you wake up in the middle of the night with the idea of all ideas to finally solve an ongoing problem or road block that your child has hit in their schoolwork. Neither Beck nor Elizabeth are fans of spelling (and that is putting it nicely). Don’t get me wrong, they are excellent at spelling, it just takes everything I can pull out of my endless Mary Poppins bag to keep it fresh, new and exciting to engage them with it.
Over the past few weeks I have known that there must be a way to entice the kids to look forward to spelling. For years now, no matter how old they get, both of the kids love the tactile hands on learning things I have developed, some even using clothes pins. As simple as it sounds, they just love clipping things! So I had the idea of why not take that love and wrap it into spelling practice for their daily lessons? Then add a sprinkle of a Disney theme and the kids were sold!
When mapping out this DIY project I wanted to keep all the costs to a minimum (as I always try to do in our homeschool lessons and tools). I did this entire board for less than $5.00 total. Honestly, it took me more time to cut out the mickey letters, glue them onto the wooden clothes pins and allow them time to dry then anything. But put on a great Christmas movie, some lovely music and you are set to create any craft!
To make this DIY Disney themed spelling board I first cut out the mickey alphabet letters. I purposefully made the letters slightly larger than the flat surface of a wooden clothes pin because I wanted to make sure the letters were legible to Beck and Elizabeth or this would not be very effective as a spelling tool.
Then I glued all of the mickey letters onto the wooden clothes pins (I found 100 clothes pins for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree) using our standard, regular old Elmer’s style school glue. It took roughly 1-2 hours for the last clothes pins to completely dry. This did cover the entire floor of our office while the clothes pins were drying, but that is part of the fun of crafting!
I then took a brand new 8 x 12 cutting board to use as the base of the spelling board. Why a cutting board? Well, after much thought I did not want a board that was too heavy; however, I also did not want a board that was flimsy either. I know I am picky, LOL. Then I stumbled across a cutting board that had handles on both sides, was sturdy, but not overly clunky. Should food or art supplies from dirty hands ever get onto the board (which will undoubted happen all the time) the cutting board makes for an easy surface to wipe clean. I found this cutting board at K-Mart on super clearance ($3.50)! I also found several just like it at the Dollar Tree but they only had one handle.
I decided to use some left over holiday ribbon, that doesn’t look too holidayish, and ran it through the middle of the board and tied it tightly in the back of the board. I secured the ribbon on the back of the board using clear packing tape cross the knot. This way, if I do need to clean the board or replace the ribbon it is not only easy peasy, but also the ribbon is secure thanks to the knot I tied previously.
Lastly I added the board’s header by using clear packing tape. Voila, you now have a mobile spelling board!
I found a plastic storage container that I had laying around and put a label on for safe storage of the clothes pins when they are not in use. I know that I have seen some super cute containers at the Dollar Tree recently that would work for storage just as well and help keep the overall costs of this project down to a minimum.
What I love about this board is that both of the kids can share it since I rarely teach their spelling lessons at the same time. Both of the kids love this board and it has added a new, fresh, hands-on take to practicing both their spelling and sight words. I have added the alphabet letter page for you to download for FREE: