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5 Benefits Of Outdoor Chalkboards For Schools

Posted By:

Office Screens UK

Date:

05/11/2021

Reading Time:

10 Mins

5 Benefits Of Outdoor Chalkboards For Schools

The image of a classroom with a large chalkboard at the front is one we’re all familiar with - but in reality, most schools have replaced traditional chalkboards with whiteboards in classrooms. However, chalkboards can still play a vital role in education and enrichment in schools, especially when used outside. 


What material is chalkboard made of?

Originally, chalkboards were made of dark slate stone, but in recent years this heavy material has been replaced by a relatively lightweight product made of porcelain enamel or high-pressure laminate. This is typically finished with a wooden or metal frame, though some wall-mounted chalkboards are available with a frameless finish.

Can chalkboards be used outside?

Chalkboard surfaces are naturally weatherproof, as the high-pressure laminate surface repels any water. Our wood effect metal frames are constructed from steel that is powder-coated with a wood effect finish, so they are fully weatherproof and provide the traditional look and feel of a wooden chalk A-board, requiring little to no maintenance. Our real wood A-frames are stained and treated with a satin lacquer to make them impervious to rain; this lacquer may need to be renewed after a few years to keep your wood frame in tip-top condition.

Are liquid chalk pens waterproof?

If you are using your chalkboard outside, then liquid chalk pens really are the best choice over traditional chalk sticks. You need to keep the board dry for 1h after applying the liquid chalk pens, then the writing will be waterproof until you choose to wipe it away using a damp cloth or surface cleaner.


So why are outdoor chalkboards a good option for educational establishments? Read on for 5 benefits of outdoor chalkboards for schools: 

1. They are Versatile 

The beauty of a chalkboard is its versatility. While it’s no longer common to find chalkboards in classrooms due to the dust produced by traditional chalks, an outdoor chalkboard has several different possible applications in an educational setting:

  • Outdoor Sign - when written on using liquid chalk pens, an outdoor chalkboard sign can be a great way to inform students, welcome parents to school events, or direct people around the school grounds. 
  • Scoreboard - chalkboards make great sports scoreboards as they can be updated quickly to reflect changing results.
  • Art Display - as an alternative to a ‘graffiti wall’, why not install a series of frameless chalkboard panels and give students the chance to create their own artwork using liquid chalk pens? The board can be easily cleaned at the end of each term, ready for new creations.
  • Play Prop - chalkboards in the playground can be a great addition to break time fun, giving children a chance to be creative and play games.

 

2. They are Long Lasting

With proper care and attention, chalkboard panels can last decades, so they’re an incredibly cost-effective investment for a school environment. Caring for your chalkboard is key in ensuring that it lasts for a long time. If you’re using your outdoor chalkboard as a more permanent sign fixture and writing with liquid chalk pens for long-lasting messages, then cleaning your board between message changes helps to keep it looking shiny and keep your chalkboard ink messages lasting longer. You can wipe the board with a cleaning spray and then a clean, damp cloth to remove all traces of paint before you reapply. For school chalkboards that are being used with traditional chalks, after a while, a felt eraser isn’t enough to remove all traces of chalk writing, and you can be left with ‘shadows’. A great way to remove these is to use a solution of white vinegar in warm water and use it to wash your chalkboard. This won’t damage the surface but will gently dissolve any chalk remnants.

 

Outdoor Chalkboards

Outdoor Chalkboards For Schools 

Outdoor Chalkboards For Schools

Wall Mounted Outdoor Chalkboards


 

3. They Encourage Creativity & Interaction

Traditionally used in classrooms in a very formal way, chalkboards have long been considered a valuable learning aid. However, when moved out of a classroom environment and installed in a play space, either indoors or outdoors, chalkboards can be extremely beneficial when it comes to both creativity and interaction.

Giving a child a chalkboard as a blank canvas on which to express their ideas is a fantastic way to encourage creativity. Supplying chalks in a variety of colours means they can express their innermost thoughts in a very sensory way. The feel of the chalk and chalkboard together is a very satisfying experience for children as it differs wildly from the pen-to-paper sensation they’re often familiar with.

In addition, setting up a chalkboard location where children play together in a free and unstructured way helps them to learn social skills through play, such as learning to share. It can also help develop communication skills such as asking for help, requesting to join in, choosing favourite colours and discussing with their peers the artwork they are creating together.

4. Ideal For Early Years

When used in a primary school environment, chalkboards can help young students to develop both their fine motor skills through drawing and writing with chalk sticks, as well as improve balance, posture and muscle tone through writing on a vertical surface. Benefits of chalkboards for young children include:

  • Hand-Eye Coordination - a natural benefit of practising writing, scribbling on a chalkboard naturally helps to improve hand-eye coordination.
  • Core Strength and Posture - children must engage their core and back muscles to maintain an upright posture at a vertical chalkboard.
  • Fine Motor Skills - writing on a vertical surface puts the wrist into an extended position. Children must stabilise their hands for better control of the chalk stick.
  • Shoulder/Elbow Stability - writing on large chalkboard surfaces encourages bigger arm movements that improve strength and flexibility.
  • Spatial Awareness - a great way to teach kids the variances of ‘up, down, left and right’ with regards to drawing positions in relation to their own bodies.
  • Visual Attention - children who struggle to maintain visual attention to activities can benefit from working on a vertical surface, as it brings the task closer to their eyes.
  • Change of Position - children who struggle to concentrate at a desk environment may appreciate a change of position to help them refocus.

5. They are Ideal for Outdoor Learning

While whiteboards have replaced chalkboards as the traditional indoor learning aid, when it comes to outdoor learning, a chalkboard is an ideal prop. Chalkboards are weatherproof, versatile and lightweight, meaning teachers can carry them outside to conduct lessons or research projects with students in the great outdoors. Outdoor learning has been shown to be an incredibly effective addition to a school curriculum. Outdoor learning activities have positive effects on all their various outcomes, e.g., attitudes, beliefs, interpersonal and social skills, academic skills, positive behaviour, re-offending rates and self-image. Giving students a chance to ‘break out’ of the usual confinements of a classroom and learn in a different environment is incredibly beneficial to their confidence, and chalkboards support outdoor learning through their durability and versatility.

For more information on Outdoor Chalkboards or any of our Wipe Boards please get in touch with our team via our Contact Us page or by calling 01234 676767

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