We have a tiny back yard and struggle with making it fun for the kids. Anything we do needs to be vertical to make it fit, so over the weekend we made a big outdoor chalkboard.
Started by getting a 4 x 8 plywood sheet, mixed an outdoor paint with sanded grout in a color that looks like chalkboard because we couldn't find a chalkboard paint that is made for the outdoors. By the end of the weekend the board was in use. Got the recipe for the paint/grout mixture online and to our surprise it works great. Just like the real thing.
We plan to leave it out all season – will it hold up? We'll see...
Total project cost: About $100
(Images: Ellyn Perreault)