Every once in a while I like to pitch you a curveball post about something you can’t eat, or what I lovingly refer to as an ‘inedible treat.’

Like these kid’s chalkboard placemats…


Over the weekend, I made the whole family venture to the local craft supply store with me. A decision I immediately regretted when we walked through the door and tiny hands started grabbing at everything within reach, misplacing the entire inventory of the first two aisles within five minutes. After wrestling packs of stickers and plastic bottles of glitter away from Charley, resulting in screams of “I’ma WRECK-IT” (channeling his inner Wreck-it-Ralph), I finally found the one thing I was looking for.

Placemat size squares of plywood. For $1.49 a piece. SCORE.

This is a super simple project with extremely useful results.

Scenario: You get home from work and head right to the kitchen to start cooking whatever you’ve got in the fridge with a goal of food on the table before 9 pm (if you’re lucky.)

If your kids are anything like mine, they’re in the background yelling “I want a snack!” or “MOMMY, CHARLEY’S PUTTING BUZZ LIGHTYEAR IN THE TOILET!”

Solution: Sit them at the table with their fancy new placemats and a piece of chalk and ask them to draw pictures of their favorite foods or what they’d like for dessert since they’re being such delights.  It’s a fun way to entertain/distract while they’re patiently waiting for mealtime.

Also, a great tool for encouraging them to try everything on the plate by labeling the foods in a fun and positive way.

Here’s what you need:
• Precut & sanded 12 x 12″ squares of plywood (I found mine at Michael’s)
• Chalkboard paint
• Sponge paintbrush
• 15 minutes of free time (good luck with this one)

Wipe any dust from the surface of the boards. Brush them with a few coats of chalkboard paint. Let them dry.



Probably the best $1.49 I’ve spent this month. Well, so far.