If you have a young child at home, or teach in elementary or preschool programs, there is a good chance you have a box of sidewalk chalk laying around. Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive, requires NO clean up, and the possibilities are endless as to what you can create.
When given sidewalk chalk, most children will doodle a few pictures, write a few words, or make a hopscotch, before asking you what they can do next.
There are a plethora of activities and games that can be done with sidewalk chalk, so we created a list of some unique and fun ideas that will keep your child busy and engaged. Grab some chalk and head outside for hours of fun!
Draw a grid and write all of the letters of the alphabet inside the squares. You can write the letters in ABC order or mixed up. Give your child a spelling word, sight word, or word to sound out, and have them hop to each letter in order to spell the word.
Show children images of constellations. Use rocks to represent the stars, and chalk to connect the stars to create the different constellations. After you have practiced some real constellations, have your child create their own as well.
Hide small toys or figurines in your yard or outdoor play area. Use chalk to write the first letter sounds of all of the items, along with a few other letters as well on the ground. Children will search for one of the hidden items and match it to the chalk letter that makes that items beginning sound. Continue until all of the items have been found and matched.
Take basic hopscotch one step further but adding in other fun activities and movements along the way. Spin, hop backwards, do jumping jacks, or whatever other fun actions you can think of for your child to complete. This activity gives children a chance to be physically active while practicing reading as well.
Draw fun scenes and have your child lay down to pose for photos. The more creative the better!
Use chalk to make roads, buildings, houses, stop signs, trees, or anything else you would see on a map. Bring out some toy cars or figurines and have fun. This is a great activity for your child to practice using the four cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) as well as left and right.
Make a chess board grid using chalk. Bring out real chess pieces, or make chess pieces out of rocks, for this outdoor version on the game.
Write letters, numbers, or words, with chalk. Have your child trace over the chalk with a paintbrush dipped in water.
Draw vegetables to create a chalk garden. Write letters on each of the vegetables. Fill a watering can with water, tell your child a word, and have them water the vegetable with that words first letter sound.
A variation of this activity could be to write sight words on the vegetables, name a word, and have your child find and water it. You could also write numbers on the vegetables and have your child water the answer to a math problem (“water the carrot that has the sum of 4+4 on it”). Another variation is to write a variety of words on the vegetables and have your child water rhyming words (“find and water a word that rhymes with tree”).
Draw a number line from 0-20. Roll a dice, have your child hop that many times across the number line, and have them tell you the number they are standing on. Continue rolling and hopping until you land on the 20 spot. Make this more challenging by adding a rule that if you roll a number larger than the amount of spaces your child has left on the number line, they will have to hop backwards, and then continue hoping forwards on the next roll, in order to try finish by landing exactly on the 20 spot.
Draw a large maze that your child can walk through themselves, or create mazes for toys or figurines.
Draw fun open shapes on one end of your playing area. In each of the shapes write a number to assign it a point value. Have you child stand on the other end of the playing area and toss something (a wet sponge, bean bags, or small rocks) into the circles. If their item lands in one of the shapes, they get those points. Use chalk to keep a running tally and see who can get the most points.
There are so many fun and exciting ways to play with sidewalk chalk. It’s inexpensive, open ended, and requires no clean up. The next time you are looking for a boredom buster, a new way to teach academic skills, or for a fun activity to do together, give some of these activities a try! Which one are you most excited about?