White boards can be amazing tools for literacy and creativity. There’s something magical about the way the markers glide across the surface, dry instantly, and erase easily. My parents purchased a white board for us when I was seven years old, and I still remember how magical it was.
White boards aren’t the novelty item they were when I was young, but my kids love them every bit as much. And, somehow, they eliminate the perfectionist tendencies my kids sometimes exhibit. Emma spelled this sentence out correctly (recognize Lily’s bug?), but I’ve noticed that she is more willing to risk guesses instead of asking me how to spell every single word when she is using the white board. Johnny attempts to write words, as well. Last night he wrote, “Go. T.” and then asked Emma for help with writing “the zoo” – then went on to draw a zookeeper with the word “zoo” written on his shirt, and an entrance sign for the zoo without further assistance.
When Emma draws on paper, each line is deliberate. On the white board, drawings are spontaneous, and she doesn’t worry about perfection. She knows that when the drawing is done, she’ll simply erase and draw another.
We have several small white boards, and the kids love to sit and draw together, often working on similar projects. Here, Emma drew a series of faces exhibiting various emotions. Johnny followed along, drawing his own interpretations:
Do your kids enjoy writing and drawing on white boards?
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
36 thoughts on “White Boards as Tools for Literacy and Creativity”
My son is only 20 months old but he LOVES his dry erase boards! We have a couple of them around the house for him to color on. He prefers these to any other coloring/drawing thing he has.
White boards are so much fun for kids!
When I was helping in my twins classroom my then 3 year old boy always got out a white board to draw on! But we’ve never had one at home! Going to change that soon.. thanks for the inspiration!
We are a white board family! :)
Yes, yes, yes!!! But honestly, only when I allow it… you motivate me to allow more. I just can’t pick up after everything and everyone anymore and unfortunately they don’t manage to always remember to put on caps and keep them out of Phinia’s reach while working.
I am making progress with tolerance and they are making progress too (?) :) in keeping my rules. :)
How quickly the markers dry out can be a problem. My kids have gotten good at this – I find giving each child one marker at a time helps a lot with that!
I love whiteboards just as much as my daughter does :). It can keep her busy for hours, and that makes me happy …
we love white boards too. can never have too many :)
Great idea to have the individual boards like that! My kids like to go into their Daddy’s office and draw on his big white board – it is kind of a special event! I have to get some VOC free markers thought – it can get stinky in there – not good!
I’m not sure if these are VOC free, but they don’t seem to smell as strongly, and they are washable:
We like the fine tip ones (which the link is to), but the thicker ones don’t work very well for us.
We also like the IKEA ones – they seem to smell less.
Abby loves her white board. I remember when I was a kid and I got a chalkboard for Christmas. It was a big one with a tray. I was so excited. We loved to play school and it was perfect!
I love white boards! They are still magical to me, even though now you can buy them at the Dollar Store!
Me too =)
Hi there, as homeschoolers we’ve chosen to put a huge whiteboard in. We use it for math, history etc. And yes! the kids love it! The smaller children especially love to use, a great outlet for creativity!
My kids would LOVE a huge whiteboard!
What white are such a great craft and learning tool. I used to use them in my classroom.
I added you to my Google+ circles.
Interesting. We have white boards available but daughter is not using them much. She does doodle on her magnetic boards more than on the white boards. Maybe it’s because we are giving her a hard time if she leaves markers uncapped.
Interesting thought that they will try more “risky” behaviors with a white board!
Definitely helps my typically very risk-averse kids…
Loving the mama and baby bugs. :) :)
Our lives have been revolutionised since I discovered OUR WHOLE REFRIGERATOR IS A WHITE BOARD. I’m sure my kids would love personal-sized white boards, too, but I’m not sure where to buy them. Any tips?
An entire refrigerator whiteboard – that is fantastic!!!
We really like these personal-sized whiteboards: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002R5AE9S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thrcramam-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002R5AE9S
Thank you for the recommendation! Amazon and I love the fact that my parents are flying over for a visit soon. ;)
We have a board with a white board on one side and flannel on the other. It gets used quite a bit. Just recently my daughter had a friend over and they were making a detailed schedule of how they were planning to take care of their baby dolls, eating, bathing, etc. Very cute.
How cute! White board on one side and flannel on the other – that’s all you need for HOURS of creative play!
White boards are so fun! My kids do love writing with dry erase. I love that you can create something new over and over!
I agree white boards are amazing. My kids love to use them.
I used to have one for Katie, (who has graduated) but I have forgotten it over the years. Thanks for reminding me of this.
My kids love ours. We have a huge one in the playroom and they use it for play but I also use it for math homework and spelling words. It’s just another medium for writing, and it makes it more fun, like they’re at school.
Exactly! We just have small ones, but my kids would adore a huge one!
Yep, same over here, they could doodle all day if I let them.
That bug is too cute!
We love white boards. When I taught high school, I made a class set out of white shower board from the hardware store so we have whiteboards a-plenty around here. My preschooler is now careful enough that he enjoys using it in the car, too.
I was just going to post about this. Are we the same person this week? ;)
That is awesome that you made a class set for your high school kids!
Great minds think alike =)
I know you teach college Spanish now – did you teach that to high school students also? I used to teach high school French!
YES! They LOVE whiteboards and all things erasable. :)
I started my son writing letters on his Magnadoodle, and when I saw how much he enjoyed erasing what we’d created I let him use the whiteboard. He regularly “steals” mine off the fridge and uses it for his own inscrutable preschooler purposes (which are apparently too many to count).
“Inscrutable preschooler purposes” – love it! =)
Comments are closed.