Chalk Fun, Indoors and Outside

There are so many ways to play with chalk, ranging from the artistic to the educational, and from indoor activities to outdoor fun.

To start, Veronika tested out some indoor ways to play, many of which were suggestions from the Toddler’s Busy Book. Of course you can simply draw on paper, which is a novel variation over a chalkboard. Once complete, set the picture with a spritz of hair spray!

It’s also fun to wet paper with a damp sponge and see the difference in color in the wet and dry spaces. Note: The Toddler’s Busy Book also suggests wetting paper with laundry starch and buttermilk… but we skipped both of those.

You can also soak chalk in a sugar-water mixture (about 1 cup water to 1/2 cup sugar) for 10 minutes, then draw with it for a wonderfully saturated look.

Prefer your chalk on the dry side? Veronika enjoyed simply drawing on the paper and then smearing over it with a cotton ball.

Now it was time to head outside! First, we placed a piece of paper down on the ground for a “sidewalk rubbing”, similar to those we’ve done against the bark of a tree with crayon.

Next up was a little learning! I tried some early letter matching for Veronika, having her pick out two Vs from a cluster of letters, for example. Or, if she found the upper case T, could she point out the lowercase t? I used only letters she’s very familiar with, but preschoolers can tackle a whole chalk alphabet!

Chalk also works well for teaching number correspondence; simply write the numerals next to chalk dots in the corresponding number.

Don’t forget shapes! To start, I simply drew a few shapes and had her find me two of each, such as the two triangles, or the two circles.

Then we upped the ante with a chalk maze! I drew paths with squares, circles, and triangles, each in a different color.

Veronika was a master at this game, zigging and zagging with aplomb and never missing a turn to stay on the same shape.

She then spent some time pouring water over the chalk, because it’s always great fun to see chalk lines disappear.

That led us out to the back patio where we ended the fun with more water:

Dip the chalk sticks into cups of water and then paint right on the glass of a window or patio door.