2 Unexpected (But Awesome) Supplies for Your Homeschool

Pencils? Check.

Binders? Check.

Pegboard and hardboard panels? What?

They’re probably not the first thing that pops into mind when you think “school supplies.” But these two boards have been some of the most-used tools in our homeschool over the years.

Years ago, I picked up a 2’x4’, 1/4” pegboard and a 2’x4’, 1/4” hardboard (pegboard without holes) at our local hardware store for about $5 each. I think I had a project in mind for them but, thankfully, those plans fell through. We use them all the time for kid inventions, crafts, art projects, games and experiments!

They’re big enough for all kinds of creative uses and thick enough to be pretty sturdy. But they’re still light and small enough that my kids can move them around and we can hide them behind the sofa when we’re done.

Creative Uses for Pegboard & Hardboard

Here are some of the ways we’ve used them:

  • When all the desk and table surfaces in our house are covered in stuff already in use, a 2’x4’ hardboard makes a great temporary, portable writing/work surface.
  • My kids make indoor tents all the time and these boards are perfect as sturdy fort walls for their hideouts.
  • Both boards work well for marble runs and contraptions of all kinds. My kids have used them in combination with wooden dowels, toilet paper tubes, cardboard, straws, masking tape, Hot Wheels tracks, clothespins, LEGOs – you name it, they’ve tried it. (Check out this post for more ideas on mixing toys creatively)
Marble contraption on pegboard with hot wheels tracks, dowels, legos and more
Pegboard contraption number 54,839 and counting…
  • All three of my kids have invented games using our pegboard. Lately, our favorites are “push-the-dowels-through-the-pegboard-holes-before-your-brother-does” and “balance-marbles-on-the-holes-in-complex-arrangements-and-take-turns-using-a-shooter-marble-to-knock-them-off.” (We’re still working on the official game names).
  • The pegboard is great for weaving projects or artwork – we “sew” colored yarn, ribbon or shoelaces in and out of the holes. My kids also love putting short dowel pegs in the pegboard holes to create custom geo-boards. Then they wrap rubber bands, string or yarn around the dowels to make patterns and shapes.
  • My preschooler has fun pushing tiny beads or pipe cleaners through the pegboard holes. It’s an excellent activity for fine-motor skills. Plus, anything that keeps her occupied for more than ten minutes is a keeper in my book!
  • We’ve used our hardboard for all kinds of school projects. Most recently, it was a ramp for our science experiments on simple machines, friction and mechanical advantage.
Kids using weights and spring scale to do science experiment on hardboard ramp
Hardboard = portable ramp for science experiments
  • The boards have also been helpful in my kids’ entrepreneurial ventures. The holes in pegboard make it perfect for hanging temporary signage for lemonade stands. And right now the hardboard is being used as a very…um… unique Pokémon game playing table. Only five cents a game – what a deal!
Kid's Pokemon game setup on hardboard table with sign "5 cents to play"
Pokémon anyone?

Hopefully some of these random ideas inspired a new use for your pegboard or other obscure “school supplies.” It might seem like I work for Pegboards’R’Us after a hard sell like this, but I assure you I’m just a grateful homeschooling mom happy to have found another creative outlet for my kids. Whenever I can spend $10 and get over ten years of use out of something, I’m all for it!

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2 unexpected but awesome supplies for your homeschool title on pegboard background