11 Creative Sidewalk Chalk Art Ideas Kids Will Love
Sidewalk chalk will always be an outdoor play staple for kids. My children always gravitate towards our colorful bucket of chalk whenever we’re outside and I end up refilling it many times throughout the summer. Because they enjoy it so much, I have been inspired to try new chalk art ideas with them to encourage more outdoor play, at-home learning opportunities, and fun. Here are 11 of my favorite unique and creative chalk art activities to try with your kids – plus some “recipes” to make your own sidewalk chalk or chalk paint.
1. Tape Resist Mosaic
Use a roll of painter’s tape to create a work of sidewalk chalk art. Simply frame a large square or rectangle with painter’s tape. Begin segmenting the interior into smaller randomly sized shapes with the tape. Next, add chalk to each shape with a different color. Alternate colors so that two of the same colors are not touching. Once the entire square is filled, peel the tape and reveal your chalk art mosaic.
3. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course
Fill your sidewalk or driveway with chalk drawings that encourage movement. Begin with a starting line and create a trail of lines to follow, balance beam, circles to jump in, twirling spirals, footprints to stomp, and so on all the way until they reach the finish line. Add an extra element of fun by drawing the obstacle course on a public sidewalk so your neighbors can join in on the action as they pass.
4. Paintbrush Water Tracing
Beyond sidewalk art, chalk can also be used to practice concepts in early childhood learning. Draw simple shapes, lines, numbers, or letters on the ground and give your child a cup of water and a paintbrush or foam brush. They can practice early literacy and fine motor skills by tracing the chalk lines.
5. Imaginative Play
Create an imaginative chalk art play town. Draw a road along with different stops like a gas station, home, parking lot, grocery store, school, and any other of your kids’ favorite places. Make it extra-large for ride-on toys and bikes or miniature for toy cars and figures.
6. Instagrammable Chalk Mural
Make a giant sidewalk chalk art mural. Create a background to incorporate your children for a fun photo op. Some creative ideas to get you started include an underwater scene, balloons to “hold”, or butterfly wings. Have your child lay down so it looks like they are part of the scene and snap a photo of them from above.
7. Shadow Tracing
Have your child stand so that their body’s shadow falls onto the sidewalk. Outline their shadow in a funny pose! They can color it in or decorate their shadow. To incorporate a science lesson, let them trace the same object’s shadow throughout the day to observe how they move and change.
8. Life Size Board Game
Jump into an outdoor family game night- literally! Create a life-size board game on your driveway and let your family be the game pieces that move from space to space. Recreate chalk art Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, or even make up your own game!
9. DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
Build a durable outdoor chalkboard for kids’ chalk art using cement backer board and black flat exterior paint or better yet, chalk paint. Trim the board to the desired size and apply several coats of paint. Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth the surface once dry. Drill into a fence using wood screws.
10. Chalk the Walk Greetings
Spread positive messaging by visiting an outdoor public space (or even your own front sidewalk) and leave uplifting and inspirational chalk drawings and motivational words. Visit a friend or family member and do the same with birthday, congratulatory, or get well messages. This simple gesture will bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Turn the classic chalk game into an opportunity to learn through play. Fill each hopscotch box with a single concept: a simple math problem, sight word, spelling word, etc. Have your child toss a bean bag from the starting line to one of the spaces. Alternate single and double hops until reaching the bean bag and when he or she picks it up, have them read the word or answer the math problem. See if they can answer all 10 correctly.
Make your own DIY Sidewalk Chalk Recipe
Make your own sidewalk chalk with this easy three-ingredient recipe. You will need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Washable tempera paint
- Warm water
- Mix ⅓ cup of water and a few tablespoons of tempera paint together.
- Slowly add ⅔ – ¾ cup plaster of paris and stir to combine.
- Let sit until thickened and spoon into silicone molds. No molds? Use parchment paper lined toilet paper rolls and tape the bottom.
- Allow to set and dry for about 12 hours.
DIY Chalk Paint Recipe
Keep your paint brushes out for this simple DIY chalk paint recipe. You will need:
- Warm water
- Sidewalk chalk (old stubby pieces work well!)
- Cheese Grater
- Food Coloring
- Organize chalk according to like colors. Grate the chalk into powder and put the powder in separate small bowls.
- In another container, mix 1 cup cornstarch and 2 cups water; if it’s too thick, add more water, if it’s too runny add more cornstarch.
- Mix the cornstarch liquid into the chalk powder until it looks like thick paint.
- If you wish, add a few drops of food coloring to create your desired colors.
*Note regarding washability and staining: After mixing a batch of chalk paint, test it on a small patch of sidewalk. Some surfaces are more absorbent of the food color or washable paint than others. You can use less coloring or eliminate the food coloring and just use the chalk powder to color your paint.
Puffy Sidewalk Paint Recipe
This is another easy sidewalk chalk recipe to try with your kids. In a bowl, mix 1 cup flour with 1 cup water. Add color by using washable tempera paint, food coloring, or grated chalk (See chalk paint note above about washability). Mix in 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Funnel the mixture into a plastic squirt bottle and let your kids squeeze their puff paint onto the sidewalk to create puffy chalk art! Repeat this recipe for as many colors you’d like to create. Wash away with a hose when finished playing.
DIY Spray Chalk
Add extra water to the above chalk paint recipe and pour the mixture into plastic spray bottles. Shake up the bottle and spray on the sidewalk for a fun new method of creating abstract chalk art.
Frozen Chalk Paint
This one is best for one of those super-hot summer days. During this outdoor sensory experience, children can watch as the colors melt and blend together making beautiful chalk art. Pour the chalk paint from the above recipe into a popsicle mold or ice cube tray to create chalk ice. Add a craft stick to make it easier to hold. When ready to create designs, take the frozen chalk cubes out, leave on the sidewalk and observe.
Like classic outdoor games like Red Light Green Light, chalk art is a timeless summertime activity. Enjoy these ideas and activities next time you are looking for an idea to create sidewalk chalk art with your kids.