Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pegboard Practice {States & Capitals}

To help my son practice capital cities for our great 50 states, I made him a fun pegboard to practice. Here's how I did it (and you can too).

Cut a piece of plywood to 8 1/2 x 11. If you don't have the tools at home, ask a helpful associate for assistance at the hardware store. They're usually able to cut wood to your dimensions upon request. Lightly sand with sandpaper to prevent splinters.

Now print the PDF of states and capitals. The PDF is available for free download from Google Drive here. (You may have to log in to a Google account, though, to access it).

I printed the pages on heavyweight cardstock.

You'll need a special hole punch that can punch holes anywhere on the page. A normal paper punch won't work. I use this one, along with a rubber mallet.

Martha Stewart also has a screw punch that would work. Using your special punch, punch out the holes individually on all seven pages. Make sure to protect your work surface (I usually put the pages on a cutting board). Yes, this is tedious, but totally worth it.

Now set one of the pages on top of your wood. Center 1-inch brad nails in each hole and pound down with a hammer. You will need 16 nails. Leave the nails sticking up about a 1/2 inch or so. With all the nails pounded in, your pegboard is ready. Note: You can do this in your pajama pants if you want. Just sayin'.

Grab eight rubberbands and the pages you printed. Stack the pages, put them onto the board, and hand your child the rubberbands to string from the state to the correct (hopefully) capital.

The PDF includes a 2-page answer sheet, so you can double check your child's work. When my son finished a page, I removed the incorrect rubberbands and he tried again. It was great practice and loads more fun than flipping flashcards.

The pegboard can be used to practice virtually any skill. Print a blank template to practice rhyming words, a foreign language, math facts, etc. Simply laminate before punching the holes and use a dry-erase marker to fill in the practice "questions and answers."

This idea was adapted from FamilyFun magazine.


  1. This is a great idea. You could also make the board with nails and put velcro dots next to the nails. Print individual state shapes/names (or other skill practice) so the items can be mixed up for the next session.

    1. This is genius!! I'm pretty sure my little guy would memorize the pattern the rubberbands made. You could keep each set in a baggy along with a folded piece of paper with the answers!

  2. Can I tell you how much I love you right now! I was just talking to my daughter about state capitals and how we need to practice -- this is downright genius!

  3. You've done it again - this is so awesome! I can't get over how professional your printables look. Pinning, sharing on Facebook, and featuring tomorrow!

  4. Great idea and could be adapted to many teaching activities. Thanks.

  5. If you don't have access to a laminator you could slip the blank template into a sheet protector before punching the holes.