Spelling … yes that necessary learning component that is needed to be able to do just about anything as a grown up. The same one that brings out the dreaded eye roll if your children, if they are all like mine that is. Luckily we have recently found our Cinderella glass slipper spelling curriculum that fits our children’s needs in Spelling You See (you can read my review of their curriculum HERE). That means that I can place a big old CHECK in that box on my curriculum finding to-do list.
Being the imaginative sort whose mind is always turning and creating, I wanted to come up with a way to make spelling fun in that sneaky sort of Mom way where the children do not even realize that they are actually growing their spelling and vocabulary skills to go along with their spelling curriculum. Mix that with board games and I am sure to have a family favorite on my hands since our family loves a great board game.
After analyzing a lot of ideas I finally came up with this DIY Chalkboard Refrigerator Spelling Game. I strategically placed it on the refrigerator since after much thought everyone in the family goes past it or opens it several times a day. I figured it was just the right product placement so that my children are always engaged and thinking and I will never find this game tucked away in a corner under a massive pile of stuffed animals, forgotten.
Making your own DIY Chalkboard Refrigerator Spelling Game
So, to get started you will need the following materials:
- Refrigerator with metal doors (most qualify)
- Chalkboard paint
- Painter’s Tape
- Edging (my husband used plastic quarter round)
- Scrabble Game (new or with all the letter tiles)
- Magnetic Tape Strip
- Chalkboard Eraser (found mine at the dollar store)
- Magnetic Locker Basket (found mine at the dollar store)
- Chalk (found mine at the dollar store)
Location Note: If you do not have a metal refrigerator door or do not want to paint yours, I would suggest using an alternative location, like a metal cookie sheet or other suitable surface.
To start this DIY project, allocate a section of your refrigerator and paint it with the chalkboard paint. I outlined a box that was approximately 11 inches wide by 10 inches tall with painter’s tape to make my board area. I only needed to use one coat of the chalkboard paint on my beige refrigerator. While this was drying my husband used trial and error to cut the edging on the proper angle to make 45 degree cuts and placed the edging together to make an outer edge to the board. This can be done in almost any fashion and with any type of edging you wish to use, or with none at all. The edging is really up to you. To finish it, simply attach magnetic tape to the back side of the edging. This will keep the edging attached to the refrigerator, but not be permanent. Once the paint is dried, per the paint’s direction, prime the chalkboard paint by rubbing and erasing chalk all over the surface.
The next step is to take all the letter pieces and put magnetic tape on the back of them. This is easy and straightforward, but takes a lot of time. I even put magnetic tape on a few of the tile trays too.
Here it is with the scoring tiles and our names (Dad, Mom, B. for Brother, S. for Sister).
For organizations sake, attach magnetic tape to the handle of the chalkboard eraser so you can easily hang it up too. Now you can hang the eraser and chalk up on the refrigerator too.
Voila! You now have your very own DIY Chalkboard Refrigerator Spelling Game.
The rules of the game are similar to scrabble, where you get points for the letters used in your words. With that said, our family is enjoying playing this game on a daily basis and we hit the proverbial “reset button” on the game every Sunday evening. I love seeing my children smile, giggle, challenge one another, and as a family unit we are all spending quality time engaging one another even if it is just 5 minutes here or there throughout the day all while the children are filling their minds with an entirely new world of vocabulary and putting the finishing touches on the proper spelling of words that they already know.
In our family, Beck and Elizabeth’s favorite part is waking up to see a new word that Dad has spelled to see if it is actually a real word and then writing down his points if he got it correct. Since my husband works an hour away from the home (in one direction) and it can literally double in the blink of an eye if a tractor is driving on the road or a cow is blocking the road (yes that happens to us all the time), so at a minimum he has 2 hours in the car Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, this also means the children rarely get to see him before he leaves for work. So, this has become their special time to connect with one another, even when the children are sleeping or my husband is on his way to work.
In this crazy busy world I will take every moment I can with my family and this is one way that no matter what else is going on throughout the day, we can all connect with one another. Are you going to create some family word play fun on your refrigerator?