Think Boards!

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Thanks to the dollar bin at Target this week and leftover scrapbook paper, I finally made my children “Think Boards” for $3! It’s a project that had been in my mind for months, but buying new frames wasn’t in the budget so I kept putting it off. But for $3, bring it on!

The frames came in black, white, and silver. The plastic cover (NOT non-kid-friendly glass) works as a dry erase board.

Add in paper! I let my kids dig through old scrapbook paper. Two of the pieces fit perfectly and one I did have to trim. Total time to make: 10 minutes. Other options: Embellish with trinkets and a hot glue gun or let the child paint the frame.

Put your Think Boards in a great spot!  The kids see this wall constantly on the way to the playroom, but my husband and I can also see it from upstairs, so we don’t forget! My kids are able to unhook and rehook their Think Boards on the nail if they ever want to write with it in their lap, but velcro may be a good idea to make it more mobile for all hands.

My 5 year old wants to learn “more hard words”!

Reasons I wanted to incorporate Think Boards into our lives:

1. Kids ask a million questions. Sometimes I can’t keep track of the curiosity of 3 brains, but I want to make sure I don’t miss a teachable moment. Think Boards give the children ownership of their learning or  “buy-in” power, and holds us accountable for helping them find the answers. Before trips to the library we’ll check our Think Boards!

2. I love teaching writing through authentic opportunities: grocery lists, notes or emails, etc. My children’s motivation is different than if they have to write sentences with their spelling words for school. Ava’s transitioning from developmental spelling to learning how to spell words correctly in 1st grade, and she gets frustrated easily. As she wrote nail, I said, “if you can spell hail you can spell nail! When she wrote “of” instead of “off”, we talked about sneaky double consonants. No squirming or flopping or falling out of her chair out of frustration. Today she popped up from breakfast and ran down to add something else to her list. “Mom, you should have made our Think Boards bigger!” she said.

3. We want our children to be magnets to learning their entire lives. It shows them we value learning, we think it’s fun, and that questions are an opportunity to learn! After I hung these up, I thought maybe my husband and I should have one too! It sure would save some on my sticky notes consumption.

Happy Thinking, Shelisa

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  1. These are awesome!! Great idea. I saw something similar on Pinterest that I’ve been meaning to make. Oh, how I wish I had more hands or more time or more something!

    I love that you are using these in teaching moments. Kids are so absorbent – and things like this (as you can tell from their excitement) just make learning fun!

  2. I love this idea! I love this idea as a way to reinforce writing in a fun, no pressure way. My oldest child is dysgraphic, which means that his handwriting is beyond horrible. He has had OT and every other kind of help we can offer and pay for as well as help from school. But, this summer he decided to start writing down the lyrics of his favorite songs, he came up with this all by himself, and his handwriting has so improved nobody can believe it. I think when learning is organic and makes sense to the child it is fun and helps reinforce a skill without pounding it into their heads! Great job!!! Yay mom!!! Thanks for a great post!

    • Kathy, thank you for sharing your story about your son. I LOVE that he found a connection with lyrics. What a cool kid! And, it reminds me of my big brother, who wrote out “Ebony and Ivory” in two different colors when he was about 11 and I was 7. He always made me sing Paul McCartney’s part;) Does he have a special notebook with sheet protectors to store them in? I love those clear front, plastic binders. Maybe he could decorate the cover as if it was a CD label?!

  3. Love this idea! YOu are so smart to use the plastic covering as a dry-erase. I’m not crafty enough to have thought of that. Can’t wait to share this post on y blog. Everyone needs to know about this! Love the name: Think Boards. So much potential.

    • Yay, thanks Ruth! Share away! The kids remain excited and adding to their boards. We have some work to do…porcupines, hail, nail polish remover, and bigger words;) Let me know if you get a Think Board going at your house.

  4. What a great idea! Kids DO ask a million questions and it’s great that you’re giving them a space to put those thoughts down in writing before they’re lost.

    • Thanks Rachelle! The kids are having a lot of fun with their Think Boards and keeping them full of ideas. It holds my husband and I accountable too;) Have you incorporated a “Think Board” type idea into your cool chalkboards?


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