Over the long Chicago winter we’ve had lots of time to be creative indoors. Spring is in the air and we are excited to get out of the house. We also know that April showers will soon follow. This is one super fun activity that we created to transform a gloomy day outside into a magical world inside. It is a city that the kids can draw on to create and re-create elements of a city for their little cars and people. The cool thing about making this craft is that it can be wiped off and instantly changed to a dinosaur world, a doll mall, fairy garden or camp site. All you need is some chalk and imagination! Use this for home schooling when studying different places around the US and the World to learn about architecture, plants, eco-systems and more. Here is how to make Chalk City.

Make this reusable chalkboard city with your kids @dapperhouse DIY tutorial


  • cardboard boxes
  • black paint
  • paint brushes
  • chalk

First, you will collect various sized boxes for building and backdrop elements and a large box to open up and spread out for the “land”.


Second, you will need black paint. You can use chalkboard paint although I just used black craft paint for this project.  You can have the kids help paint if you like or do this first and have them do the drawing.

TIP: I always wear gloves when painting with non washable paints. You can get a cheap box of gloves at any drug store for cheap and they are useful for all sorts of activities and cleaning! Best of all they are disposable.

Reusable DIY Chalkboard City easy to make play set from old boxes @dapperhouse

Mine only took a few hours to completely dry so you can do this craft start to finish in one day.

Turn a boring Rainy Day into the Best Day Ever with this DIY Chalk City @dapperhouse

Once everything is painted and dry, you can go to town! Use pictures from books and photographs of architecture on line to inspire little artists. Talk about the social studies aspect of a city too, like the necessary building to make a community thrive. Where are places your family goes? Make the doctor, dentist, park, store, school, library and more.

DIY chalkboard City Craft for kids project @dapperhouse Cars playset

Talk about traffic patterns and the job of a railroad. Draw and redraw parking lots, race tracks, railroads and busy boulevards.

Create a fun and reusable chalkboard play set with your children tutorial DIY  @dapperhouse

Guaranteed this will be a favorite activity for your little ones.

To Store we just put the smaller boxes into the bigger ones, fold up the base and tuck it all away in a closet. Easy to pull in and out whenever the mood strikes! Have fun with your little ones.

Good Night Chalk City @dapperhouse make this chalkboard city play place for your child DIY

Change this depending on your child’s wants and needs with the wipe of a damp cloth and a box of chalk. What scene or backdrop do you think your child would like to create?