Wooden cigar box (or something similar)
Paint to decorate the inside & outside of the box
Box of chalk
Scrap of flannel or fleece
Paint the inside and outside of the box as desired, leaving box lid unpainted. Let dry.
Carefully paint the box top with chalkboard paint. Use an extra coat if needed. Let dry.
Place a box of chalk in the box along with a scrap of flannel for an eraser.
Voila' That is it! Simple, yet most young kids will love it.
If you have extra chalkboard paint left over, use it to paint an old vinyl placemat, for little ones to use at a table.
Another off-beat version of the chalkboard is to alter an old book. Start with an old hardcover book like those found at a thrift store. Glue pages together and let dry. Leaving a minimum 1 inch border around the page edges, cut out the pages using a sharp utility knife. This forms a box inside of the book. You may wish to paint the inside to dress it up a bit. When dry, paint the book cover with chalkboard paint.