Chalk It Up
Some days there’s just no time for exciting excursions out and about, but you can make your own fun right there at home. If you’ve got a big box of sidewalk chalk, you’re golden. No fancy equipment or big backyard required—you can easily turn your driveway, patio or sidewalk into a colorful carnival of fun. Kids take to chalk naturally, creating colorful drawings all on their own. But we’ve got a few ideas for some added excitement…
Hopscotch is always a hit, but let’s kick things up a notch and turn this into a sidewalk dance party!
A twist on your classic hopscotch game.
1. Assign a dance move to each spot on a hopscotch board.
2. Taking turns, toss a rock onto each space, starting at one.
3. When you reach the square the rock has landed on you must do the dance move on the space.
4. Once the dance move is complete, turn around and hop back to the beginning of the board.
5. Repeat for each square – just as in traditional hopscotch
Some dance move suggestions: Robot, Staying Alive, Shopping Cart, Cabbage Patch, Moonwalk, Freestyle, Stanky Leg, Hammer Time, Twist, Gangnam Style, Egyptian, Vogue
There’s so much more you can do with other sidewalk chalk games:
- Marble Bounce: Use the chalk to draw a circle, then kids drop marbles to try to knock their opponents’ marbles out of the circle.
- Dress Up: Have the kids lie down in different positions on the concrete and trace the outline of their bodies. Then let them fill in and color the outline, adding a face, clothes and accessories. Give them a theme for each, like beach day, school dance, mountain climber, farmer, and so on.
- Artist Swap: Draw large rectangles on the ground, one for each child. Then set a timer and let each kid draw for three to five minutes. When the timer dings, each artist rotates to the next rectangle and continues drawing where the original artist left off.
- Bug Parade: Draw a parade of bugs—ladybugs, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders—marching down your sidewalk.
- Connect the Dots: Draw a simple outline of a familiar object (a house, a tree, a flower, a dog) using only dots. Then let the kids connect the dots to reveal the picture.
- Eraser Art: Have the kids color in a large rectangle (4x6 feet or more) with different colors of chalk. Then fill small squirt bottles with water and switch the nozzle to “stream.” Have the kids spray the rectangle with water to create a picture.
- Who Was Here: Do a little research with the kids to discover what different animal footprints or paw prints look like—ducks, cats, horses, elephants, deer, dinosaurs—then have them draw the prints up and down your sidewalk.
- Lily Pad Hop: Draw different sizes of lily pads (make sure the vary the distance between each) and then ask the kids to jump across the “pond” by hopping from pad to pad.
As long as you have a supply of sidewalk chalk, you’ve got hours of entertainment (and a good bit of colorful dust) on your hands.