Hey, you! Read this introduction: What would you think if I said you could entertain and educate your child for months using just a piece of chalk – no other equipment necessary? You’d either say I was nuts or you’d hump my leg, right? Well, prepare to mount me, because here’s a timeline of 100 activities (ONE HUNDRED, people!!) to cater for every child. Whether you’ve got a tot or a teen, all you need is a single piece of chalk.
Okay, now stop thrusting and start reading!
Jump to age…
|0-2 Years||3-5 Years||6-8 Years||9-11 Years||11-13 Years||14-16 Years|
1. Walk the Line:
Have you ever noticed kids love lines? Not the kind you stand in or color outside of, but the kind you walk on. Cracks in the sidewalk, painted lines on the blacktop, stone walls, balance beams, ordinary ropes or garden hoses. So grab your chalk and draw a long line. Now encourage your child to show you how she can walk and keep her feet on the line. Balance, coordination, and concentration, oh my! Alternate the activity by challenging your child to jump down the line or to walk sideways down the line.
Challenge your toddler to find different surfaces on which they can draw, such as bricks, concrete, smooth asphalt, and wooden fence. Ask him to experiment with making chalk marks on the various kinds of textures. Enhance his vocabulary by using descriptive words: bumpy, smooth, rough, jagged, hard, crumbly, and so on.
3. Step on the Shape:
This activity will fine tune your toddler’s listening skills whilst reinforcing their shape knowledge. Simply chalk shapes on the sidewalk: triangle, square, rectangle, circle. Now issue instructions to your tot: “Put two feet on the circle.” “Jump on the triangle.” “Hop on the rectangle.” “Tip-toe on the square.”
Spatial awareness? Check! Zigzag pattern? Check! Gross motor skills? Check! Right then, let’s get busy! First, chalk a large zig-zag pattern on the pavement. Then invite your child to run, walk, toddle, or even crawl, along the zig-zag. This activity is ideal for pre-writers as zig-zags are the beginning of formal mark-making!
5. Shape Nap:
This activity works best with a small group of kiddos. Chalk a shape on a clean pavement, then invite the children to ‘take a nap’, lying precisely on the shape. This makes for hilarious photos!
6. Practice Pincer Grip:
Encourage your child to hold the chalk with the pointer finger on top, resting the chalk on the thumb and middle finger. This is an essential pre-writing skill so important to master. Encourage your child to mark-make like a boss!
7. Writing Strokes:
Got that pincer grip sorted? Righto! Now let’s write! Chalk different types of strokes, swirls and lines on the pavement (the pic below shows paper but any dark surface will do). Now invite your child to copy. This is an essential pre-writing skill.
8. Smudge Chalk:
Go crazy with the chalk and then smudge it with your fingers = a tactile experience that can produce stunning art.
9. Hand Prints:
Take the above activity to the next level by using your chalk-covered hands to hand print. Count the prints and compare sizes. Add water if possible.
10. Letter Jumping:
You’re never too young to learn the alphabet! (No really, it’s all about rhythm). Grab your chalk and draw circles with letters in them. Invite your toddler to jump as you chant the alphabet. Don’t fall in the water! If you want to invest in this activity further, get your hands on this music CD. It’s jam packed with alphabet songs you can play whilst your tot interacts with your markings.
11. Odd One Out:
Draw three shapes that are the same and one that is not. Now ask your child to locate the shape that is the ‘odd one out’. This simple activity enhances vital observational skills.
12. Chalk Faces:
Create faces on the pavement. Invite your child to draw their face. Encourage them to pay attention to their facial features by asking questions: “What color is your hair?”, “How many eyes do you have?” “How many ears?” If there are any rocks lying around, use them to add further decoration. Ditto grass and twigs.
13. Alphabet Learning:
Chalk a letter on the pavement (choose upper or lower case). Then invite your child to trace the letter with their finger (pre-writing skill alert!) Now ask them to find objects (stones, leaves, dirt, anything at all) to place along the letter. Experiment with different letters.
Use your chalk to draw lines all over the pavement. Experiment with making them wavy, swirly and overlapping. You can even have them leading to secret places. Next invite your child to trace over the lines from beginning to end. Finally, it’s their turn to create some lines for you to trace.
15. Follow the Footsteps:
A retake of the traditional game: ‘follow the arrows’. Simply chalk footprints and invite your child to follow them. Older children can chalk the footprints themselves and invite you to follow them. Experiment with footprint sizes and guess “who’s footprints are these?” Depending on your child’s developmental stage, you could also name a destination: “somewhere with grass” for example, and your child must then draw footprints leading to a destination that meets that description.
16. Hit the Road:
Chalk an elaborate ‘motorway’ on the pavement. Use it to teach your child about road safety (stop, look and listen; crossings; corners; etc). This activity is ideal with a group of children, if you can muster that. Some children can be cars and some can be pedestrians. Make sure the ‘pedestrians’ find a safe place to cross and that the ‘cars’ stop for them. Don’t worry if you don’t have any ride-in cars to hand, just pretend! You can alternate this activity by chalking a railroad and inviting the children to be trains; or chalking a sky with clouds and inviting the children to be aeroplanes – be careful not to bump into each other! Real trains and planes have strategies to prevent bumping, turn-taking and time lapses for example.
17. Erase The Number Game:
Chalk a variety of numbers. Now, whisper a number in your child’s ear or show it with your fingers and invite your child to erase that number until they are all gone. You could do the same thing with letters or words.
18. Bug Race Course:
Create a start and finish line then round up some critters to try out the course.
19. Obstacle Coarse:
Draw squiggly lines to follow, straight lines to jump over, spirals to spin on! The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
20. Name Tracing:
Rare is the child that can write their name independently at this age. To aid the process, write it once and then let them trace over it. Great fine motor work!
21. Crumble Silhouettes:
Use a craft stick to file a piece of chalk: lots of fun can be had with the colourful chalk dust! If you don’t have a stick to hand, just crumble a small piece of chalk with your fingers.
22. Musical Shapes Game:
Chalk various shapes on the pavement (circles, squares, triangles, you get the idea). Make sure there’s enough of each shape for each child (so if you have 4 children, draw 4 triangles and 4 squares, you know the deal..) Now play some music (or simply sing, if you don’t have music to hand) and invite the children to dance around until you call out a shape. Now everyone has to hurry and find one to stand on. For older children, you can add an element of challenge by rubbing out a shape after each game so that next time, there aren’t enough shapes for everyone; the winner is the child left standing after all the other shapes have been rubbed out (If playing this latter version, proceed with caution, as you may have to break up a few fights!)
23. Coloring In:
Who doesn’t love coloring in? And with chalk you can color – on an industrial scale! Simply draw a huge picture and invite your child to color it. If you only have one piece of chalk to hand (and thus, only one color), you’ll have to get creative: I’m thinking zebras or checker boards!
24. Blue’s Clues:
If you have blue chalk, have a blast using it to draw paw prints on various items outside…. tree trunks, next to the mailbox, next to some leaves….. you can make this up as you play, but if you want to prepare in advance you could make this a great clue-solving activity! (If you haven’t seen the show ‘Blue’s Clues’, I apologize that this activity seems wack!)
25. Learning With Length:
Discuss the concept of length using your piece of chalk. Draw different lines and ask your child which is longest and shortest, then alter the lines and ask again. Invite your child to make a line longer (by adding to it) or shorter (by rubbing some out).
26. On The Line:
Now you’ve used lines to explore length (above activity), it’s time to use lines to explore hand-writing. Chalk up some ‘lined paper’ on the pavement (the image below is a perfect example). Now invite your child to practice their hand writing. Show them how to ensure the letters ‘sit’ on the line properly. Pay attention to the size of uppercase letters compared to lowercase letters. Uppercase letters may, for instance, take up two lines in height. Examples of writing ‘one the line’ can be found here.
27. Wide Walking:
Create two lines in the shape of a “V”, starting at the narrow point and going wide. Show your child how to walk on BOTH lines at once. With each step, the feet get further and further apart. Then turn around and come back, with the feet getting closer and closer together. At first this may not be easy for your child and she may need a little assistance. Your instinct may be to hold her hand as she tries, but if you do, this may throw off her balance even more by favoring one side over the other. Instead, get behind her and hold onto her shirt. This gives her a sense of support without interrupting her independent efforts for balance. If this still isn’t enough, get in front of her and put your arm out for her to hold onto like a bar. (Again this gives her a sense of support while keeping you from instinctively compensating for her lack of balance.)
28. Action Letters:
Combine literacy with gross motor and concentration in this fun action activity! Begin by calling out a letter and asking your child to run to it. After she has found them all easily, next turn to letter sounds to make the game more challenging. Now for the fun part: call out a letter and asked your child to perform an action that starts with that letter . So, for example, say: “Can you jump on the J?” and “Now wiggle on the W!” Be sure to have a spare pair of panties to hand, as you’ll be laughing all the way to the bathroom.
Learning to write your name when you’re a preschooler can be a frustrating, yet fulfilling experience. Using chalk makes the experience less frustrating, (and thus more effective), by making it easy for your child to erase. Some children find it easy to copy their name directly below an adult’s model, and some will do better if you work on one letter at a time. If this is the case, allow your child to make row after row of that letter until he/she is happy. Follow your child’s lead. If your child is happy making only the first letter of the name, that’s okay. Reversals (letters or the entire name), are very common at this age and will usually be corrected without too much interference.
30. Chalk Pictionary:
A classic! One person draws while the other person tries to guess what they are drawing. Simples!
31. Finish the Scribble:
Here’s a fun game for you and your child to play together. One person draws a scribbled line. The next person has to complete the picture by turning the scribble into an object such as an animal or a person or a thing. If there are numerous children present, imagine how elaborate the drawing could grow! Fun times.
32. Big, Bigger, Biggest:
This gross motor activity will help your child understand the concept of “Big, Bigger, and Biggest.” Draw three squares on the sidewalk or your driveway: one that is large enough for your child to stand inside, one that is visibly larger, and one that is even larger than the previous one. Point out the big square, the square that is bigger, and the biggest square. Play a game by asking your child to stand in the big square, hop to the bigger square, then stand on one foot in the biggest one. You could also add an object to the game and have your child put a toy in the biggest square, etc. To alternate the activity use the words small, smaller, and smallest and modifying the size of the squares your draw.
Arty farty time! Self-portraits are autobiographical drawings that often illustrate the way a child feels about who he is. To create a chalk self-portrait, trace your child’s body on the ground and allow them to draw their face, clothes, and a scene around them. Alternatively, lie on the floor yourself and let the kids draw around you – probably the nearest thing to sunbathing you’re gonna get right now! lol
34. Chalk-Dot Hop:
A game that ignites physical strength, coordination, and balance, Chalk-Dot Hop is like a life-sized dot-to-dot activity, except your child uses their body to connect the dots! To play the game, draw large dots all over the pavement and challenge your child to jump from dot to dot without touching the outside of the dots. This game is a great way to burn energy at the end of the day! You may like to pretend that the dots are little islands and if you step off of them, you will fall into toxic goo.
35. Number Line:
Kids learn better through moving: true fact! So, again, let’s employ your child’s whole body in this activity. First, chalk a number line on the pavement. Depending on your child’s developmental stage you can make it as long or as short as needed. Now, invite your child to hop, skip and jump across the number line, counting aloud as they go. Alternate between singing the numbers, whispering them, shouting them, etc. Next, you can practice addition sums (1 + 3 = 4). Older kids can miss a number out and count in twos (requiring a longer jump) or jump to odd and even numbers. Limitless math possibilities!
36. Shadow Feelings:
Chalk some expressions on the pavement making them roughly the same dimensions as your current shadow. Now invite your child to line themselves up with the chalk drawings to give their shadow different ‘faces’. Hilarity guaranteed! Next, get all serious and discuss feelings, and stuff. To alternate this activity, tell a story whereby you take turns acting it out using the drawings.
37. Copy Cat:
Invite your child to draw on the pavement with chalk (any picture they like). You then copy their picture. Next, it’s your turn to draw and have your child copy. This simple activity strengthens observational skills.
38. Can You Find?
Have fun exploring your garden by providing some treasure hunt prompts. Be sure to include colour and number practice as well as descriptive words such as ‘thin’, ‘heavy’, ‘bumpy’ to describe the objects you wish your child to find.
39. Human Murial:
How could I not include this activity? Create magic chalk art like in the movie Mary Poppins. Draw a scene you could imagine jumping into and visiting for the day. The possibilities are endless, my friends!
This activity is tougher than it looks, but loads of fun, honest. First, chalk up two parallel rows of ‘stepping stones’ on the pavement, making sure they are well spaced out (the larger the space, the harder the challenge). Now, standing at the top of the two rows, invite your child to walk on the stepping stones any way they’d like. Next, invite your child to walk down the rows, stepping his right foot on the left row of stones and his left foot on the right row. The pic below shows bean bags, but chalked stones work just dandy!
41. “I Can Spell My Name” Hopscotch Game:
Chalk a square for each letter in your child’s name and a big box at the end for their whole name. Practice hopping on each letter and saying it aloud, then say the whole name at the end.
42. Shape Maze:
Here’s a more complex version of the “Step on the Shape” activity above. Chalk lots of different shapes on the pavement (invite your child to help). Then ask your child to stand in a shape on the first row, for instance, a square. Next, they must get to the other side, stepping only in squares. Ready, set, go!
43. Counting Maze:
Chalk a grid pattern on the pavement and put in the numbers 1-20, working your way from the beginning to the end, leaving some blank spaces. Then go back and fill in the blank spaces with random numbers. You’re ready! Now invite your child to walk through the counting maze in the correct order. You can alternate this activity by using the alphabet instead.
44. Shadow Poses:
Fund a sunny spot for some arty gross motor fun! Ask your child to strike a pose and hold it. Now draw around their shadow using your chalk. Next, invite your child to decorate their shadow silhouette.
45. Chalk Nursery Rhyme:
A great literacy experience is to have your child draw their favorite nursery rhyme! If your child is older, have them draw their favorite scene in a book they are reading instead.
46. Giant Chalk Keyboard:
Chalk a large piano keyboard on the pavement. You might choose to draw two full octaves (or the musical alphabet twice for those unfamiliar with music terminology). The musical alphabet is made simply of seven letters: A-B-C-D-E-F-G. So if you have a toddler or preschooler just learning their letters, this activity won’t overwhelm them with all 26 letters. Now sing the letter names starting at the lowest C all the way up to practice pitch and range (i.e., they should sing higher as they go up or lower as they come down).
47. Animal Yoga:
Draw a selection of animals on the pavement (reptiles are perfect, think: lizards and snakes!) Explain to your child that that these drawings are shadows and that your child is the animal that made them. Can he mirror the animal’s pose?
48. Alphabet Scavenger Hunt:
Ask your child to choose a letter from the alphabet and to chalk it on the pavement. Next, invite your child to search the environment and find an object that begins with that letter. Now they can chalk around it to create a silhouette. Continue until you have a full alphabet montage!
49. Skip Counting Rings:
First draw one large ring and then several smaller rings inside (see pic below, folks). Assign each ring a value, getting higher in value as the rings get smaller in size. Invite the kids to count with you. Next, find an object (anything at all) and aim to toss it to land on the ‘bullseye’ in the middle. If you have no object to hand, you can ask each child to take turns jumping or hopping to the bullseye with a single leap. Whoever gets the closest wins.
50. Pattern Memory Game:
Choose a theme (Seasons, Animals, Sport, Shapes, you name it!) and chalk a picture to represent that theme. Make it big, like UBER BIG. Next, invite the children to draw their own big pictures to represent that theme. You are now ready to play the game, which goes as follows: Player one jumps on a picture, shouts it out, then stands off to the side. Player two jumps on that same picture, shouts it out, jumps on another picture, shouts it out, and then stands off to the side. Player three jumps on the first picture, the second picture and a new one (shouting out of course). Once each player has had a turn, player one goes again starting with the first picture…. and so on and so on. Play continues until someone can not complete the pattern.
51. Upper & Lower Case:
Chalk large letters in both upper and lowercase letters on the pavement, randomly, all over the place. Then, point to a lowercase letter, and invite your child to find the uppercase, chalking a line to join them together. You can alternate this activity by chalking numbers and groups of dots to match up.
52. Upper & Lower Case Jump:
Here’s an athletic twist to the above activity. Instead of joining the letters with chalk, invite your child to jump or hop to them. Alternative the activity by introducing different moves (dance, crawl, waddle, etc).
53. Flower Garden:
Don’t have your own garden? No worries – create one! Invite your child to chalk up their very own garden containing different kinds of flowers, leaves, bugs, etc.
54. Life-Sized Chalk Maze:
Creating a life-sized chalk mazes exercises your child’s coordination, balance, and problem-solving skills. Make it extra fun by providing “dead ends” with imaginary danger (one-eyed monsters, a pit of doom, spikes, or dinosaurs!)
55. Chalk Stenciling:
Draw around different objects (use body parts if no objects are available). Now ask your child if they can guess what they are. Simples!
56. Chalk City:
Chalk up a city on the pavement including stores, a police station, school, hospital, park, and so on. Perfect for pretend play. Alternatively, you can chalk a mini city – the perfect place for Little People or Matchbox Cars to hang out.
57. Opposite Rectangles:
Chalk a large rectangle. Divide the rectangle in half. In the first half of the rectangle, draw a happy face. Have your child draw the opposite (sad face) in the second half of the rectangle. Repeat this activity with more opposites!
58. Chalk Long Jump:
Let’s explore mathematical concepts (length, distance, measuring) whilst indulging the children in gross motor fun! Begin by discussing how athletes compete in a competition called The Long Jump, to see who can jump the furthest. Then chalk a ‘starting line’ and further away, a ‘jump line’. Now invite the children to line up behind the starting line and challenge them to take turns running from the start line to the jump line and then jumping as far as they can. Mark their jumps with chalk. Who jumped the furthest? Don’t worry if you don’t have a group of kids, or don’t like the idea of competition, simply encourage your child to try and beat their personal best.
59. Artist Switch:
This game is ideally played in a group. Draw large squares on the ground (draw as many as the number of children who will be playing). Now snap your chalk into pieces so that each child has a piece. Ask them to start drawing a picture in their square. Count for one minute and when time is up have the children rotate to another rectangle and have them draw on that space. Continue until all the artists have had a chance to color on all the rectangles. The result will be a series of artworks that everyone has shared in chalking!
60. Tic Tac Toe:
Time for a classic! To set up the playing board, chalk a hash sign (#). Assign your child as the “X” and yourself as “O”. The first of you to get three of your letters in a row wins! You can even have a tournament to ascertain the ultimate tic tac toe champion of your neighbourhood.
61. Walk and Spell:
Chalk random letters scattered around the pavement. The object of this activity is to spell out simple words by walking to each letter. Start with words like hat, bat, cap, tap, jam, etc.. changing only the first letter, each time. This sets your child up for success while still offering a challenge. You can gradually make the words longer and more complex depending on your child’s development. You’re raring to try this one aren’t you? 😉
62. Still-Life Art:
Locate something in the environment (a toy for example) and invite your child to draw an exact copy of it. Encourage them to pay attention to the fine details.
63. ‘X’ Marks The Spot:
Chalk up a treasure map for your budding explorers. You can make it resemble your garden (be sure to hide some actual ‘treasure’ in your garden beforehand). Now invite your child to read the map and go find the treasure! Yarrrrrr!
64. Crocodile in the Water:
Remember the ‘Wide Walking’ activity above? Well now that your child is older and has more coordination, it’s time to go hardcore! Chalk two parallel lines that are far enough apart for your child to be able to “walk” one line with her feet and the other with her hands. Then help your child draw a silly old crocodile in the center. Challenge your child to ‘walk’ across the lines using her hands and feet, as shown in the pic below):
65. Fill the Gap:
Time for some spelling tests!! (Stop grimacing, it’ll be fun). Chalk a word on the pavement, leaving a gap where one of the letters is missing. Now invite your child to fill in the missing letter. Fluent spellers can take a turn writing the word and missing out a letter for YOU to fill in. Put your thinking cap on!
66. Identify Problem and Solution:
In this turn taking activity you chalk a picture representing a problem and invite your child to chalk a solution to the problem. So for example: You draw a raincloud (child draws umbrella); You draw fire (child draws hose); You draw cold fingers (child draws gloves on them). You draw a hungry animal (child draws food), and so on.
67. Odd or Even:
Chalk random numbers around the pavement and invite the children to jump to an odd or even number (this is more fun in a large group whereby you can instil the rule that each number can hold only one child). For slightly younger children you could invite them to jump to their age.
68. What time is it?
Make reading a clock and telling time more hands-on with a huge sidewalk chalk clock! Use toys or, even better – children – as the clock hands. Call out a time and have the kids use the “hands” to show it to you. Show a time on the clock and invite the children to identify it. You could also count by 5s on the clock using the minute hand.
69. Box Out:
This game is simple enough for younger children and can also challenge older kids as they learn to use strategy to win. Draw a very large square about 10 feet x 10 feet. Divide the large square into a grid 10 spaces wide x 10 spaces deep. You can make the initial large square smaller, but the grid spaces need to be big enough for kids to stand inside them. Assign each child to a corner to start. The first player will move to a connecting square and then put the first letter of their name in the box they came from. Players take turns moving from one square to the next filling in them in as they go. After a box is filled in no one can step in that box again for the entire game. If a player is stuck and cannot move they must forfeit their turn. The winner is the one who can move last after all the players are “stuck”.
70. Chalk Run & Jump:
Time for an active science lesson! Here’s a vertical twist on the ‘Long Jump’ activity above. The experiment is to see how your child can make the highest mark using chalk – would it be by running and jumping, jumping standing still, reaching up while standing? Encourage them to predict what move will be the highest and then ask them to check their hypothesis!
71. Sight-Word Twister:
Based on your child’s current reading, chalk a selection of sight words on the pavement and circle them. As with regular twister the object is to be touching 4 spaces at the same time. Call out the words for your child to find. As a variation – use numbers, for example: “4 plus 2” (your child should touch number 6). For younger children, use single letters or numbers instead.
72. Rhyming Word Match-Up:
Chalk random works on the pavement (be sure to include plenty of rhyming pairs but not close together). Now read through the words with your child. Finally, invite your child to match up the rhyming pairs by circling them and joining with a line of chalk.
73. Snail Hopscotch:
Before you write off this game as just another variation of hopscotch – think again! This game is a lot of fun! Draw a large circle (about 12 inches) on the ground and then draw a very large spiral board on the concrete starting at the circle and spiraling out to look like a snails shell. The spirals of the snail shell need to be about 8 – 12 apart. Make 3 or 4 large spirals around the center circle. Divide the spirals into spaces about 12 – 14 apart and number them. The first player hops on one foot from the center circle to the outside and back. If they make it without stepping of a line or losing their balance they can use sidewalk chalk to mark ANY space they want with their initials. No one is able to jump on that space the rest of the game. The next player must hop on one foot from the center and back but must jump over the space that is marked with initials. If they make it then they may write their initials on any square they choose. This is a simple game, but it gets crazy when kids have to hop all the way across the board to an empty space near the end of the game. The person with the most initialed squares wins.
74. Chalk Solar System:
Here’s an awesome activity for learning about the solar system and introducing the vocabulary of “orbiting”. Chalk up a replica of the solar system being sure to be as accurate as you can (pay attention to the order and size of the planets). Invite your child to choose a planet and then ask them to pretend to be that planet ‘orbiting’ the sun. Hop from planet to planet saying their names.
75. Life-Sized Whale:
How’s this for a cool science lesson? Have you ever really wondered what it would be like to stand next to a whale? (Hey, don’t look at me like that). Well now you can! Find a large open space (a deserted car park is ideal) and get chalking! No measuring tape needed: Blue Whales are approx 70-90 foot long, so use your feet to count. Make your drawing as detailed as you like. If your kids really get a kick out of this activity, consider purchasing the amazing age-appropriate book: ‘Is A Blue Whale The Biggest Thing There is?’ This book will help put the activity into perspective, comparing, as it does, blue whales with other sizeable items in our vast amazing world.
76. Chalk Spelling Hop:
Chalk a grid six squares across and five squares down. In the first box, put a big star. Each box following should contain a letter of the alphabet. There should be three blank boxes left. To those I add a question mark, an apostrophe, and the words “capital letter.” Now it’s time for spelling practice! The instructions are simple: 1. Start and end every word at the star; 2. Get from one letter to the next trying not to step on other letters in the process (which isn’t always possible, but kids sure have fun trying); If you get stuck, step on the question mark square; If the word begins with a capital letter (proper noun, etc.), step on the “capital letter” square before you head to the first letter in the word; If you misspell the word, you have to go back to the star and begin again.
77. Yard Map:
Time to brush up on your child’s technical skills. Invite him or her to chalk a bird’s eye view of your backyard. Include the shape of their house, car, swing set, bushes, sidewalk, etc. Discuss ‘scale’ as a technical concept.
78. Connect The Dots:
This fun game is sometimes referred to as ‘Boxed In’. Here’s the skinny: Start by chalking an empty grid of dots. Now players take turns, adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoined adjacent dots. A player who completes the fourth side of a 1×1 box earns one point and takes another turn. (The points are typically recorded by placing in the box an identifying mark of the player, such as an initial). The game ends when no more lines can be placed. The winner of the game is the player with the most points.
79. You Rock:
Show your child the chalk. Ask them to feel it. Now challenge them to guess what it is made from. Explain that chalk is a soft, white form of limestone, that limestone is a type of ‘sedimentary rock’. Explain that sedimentary rocks are formed by sediment that is deposited over time, usually as layers at the bottom of lakes and oceans. Fascinating stuff. Chalks come from the sea – who knew?! Can you or your child think of other sedimentary rocks? (e.g. coal, claystone, flint).
80. Gross-Motor Addition Game:
This game is harder than it looks! To set it up, simply chalk numbers 1-20 on the pavement. Now for the game instructions: call out a number (for instance, 12) and challenge your child to locate two numbers that make up 12 (a correct answer would be 8 and 4). Your child can join up the numbers with chalk or step on them twister-style.
81. Chalked Instructions:
Traditional hopscotch with a twist – create a pathway by chalking instructions detailing what your child should do in each section, like twirl, touch your toes, meow like a cat, and more. Obviously the ability to read quite fluently is important, hence this age-range.
82. Make Someone Smile:
Find creative ways to make someone smile using chalk! Leave messages on the driveway for other family members, chalk up motivational quotes, or simply draw smiley faces – everywhere.
83. Easy Fractions:
Draw several shapes. Have your kiddo draw a line to cut the shapes in half/thirds/fourths/etc. Make sure you talk about fair shares (how each section should be the same size) when they are drawing the lines.
84. Constellation Art:
Time for some astronomy! First create real consolations using your chalk and a few rocks/pebbles if you can find them lying around. Then get really creative and pretend to be astronomers, discovering new constellations! There’s an age-appropriate book called ‘Circus in the Sky’ that would be ideal to accompany this activity. The stunning illustrations in this book bring the concept of constellations to life in a way that words alone could never do justice.
85. Calculator Hopscotch:
Chalk the board shown below. The first player then jumps from square to square to indicate an equation; for example, she might jump onto these in order: 4 + 3 = . The next player jumps to the answer, then jumps a different equation. The player after her solves that, and so on.
86. Addition Hopscotch:
This game is like the above Calculator Hopscotch only the equations are chalked first. The pic below shows construction paper but you can easily chalk this on the pavement. To play, invite the children to take turns playing traditional hopscotch, answering the math problem on each spot that they land on.
87. Giant Crossword Puzzle:
Prepare the grid (being sure to Fill in the numbers to match your across and down sentences), then Step back a bit and let your child have some fun practising their spelling words.
88. Playing with Shadows & Time:
Find a sunny spot (and one you know will remain sunny for at least a few hours!), and trace your child’s shoes using the chalk. Then trace the outline of their shadow. Come back periodically throughout the day, and ask your child if he thinks the shadow moved, and if so, how? Will it be longer? Shorter? Wider? In the same place? Explain how the earth is slowly moving but the sun stays in the same position, hence the change in shadow.
89. Chalk Sundial:
This activity really will take you all day! From 9am to 5pm on the hour every hour chalk around your shadows to create your own shadow sundial clock. This activity is perfect when accompanied by reading this book: ‘What Makes Day and Night’. The book provides a step-by-step investigation of sunrise and sunset, midnight and noon, and is age appropriate.
90. Number Sequencing:
Draw up a grid with numbers inside. Invite your child to hop on each number in order from 1 through to 5, then 1 through to 10 then 1 through to 15, then 20 and then 25.
91. Sidewalk Comic Strip:
For a creative outdoor art activity, why not use the sections of a concrete path as the panels of an original sidewalk chalk comic strip. Before children begin drawing and writing, have them select the story they will tell. Is it based on a favorite story? Is it an original tale? Next, ask the kids to plan out the setting, plot, and characters for their story. Where will the story take place and how will kids draw these locations? Who will appear in the story, what will they look like, and how will they talk? What are the main events that happen during the story? Remind kids that they will only have so much space per panel to tell the story.drawing an outdoor chalk art project. Then, have children count up how many sidewalk sections they have available to tell their tale and decide if they will need to divide the panels further to have enough spaces to narrate the entire story. Next, have children decide how they will tell the story. Will they have boxes of text at the top that narrate what is going on during each event? Will they include speech or sound effect bubbles? Younger children may need you to write the words for their sidewalk chalk comic strips, while older kids can be in charge of writing their own narration and dialogue and gauging how much space to leave for the pictures for each panel.
92. Angle Search:
Talked about being able to notice 45, 90, and 180 degree angles in the world around you. Then head off on a geometry walk! When your child locates any of the angles, ask them to labeled them with the chalk.
93. Geography Game:
Chalk a big map of your country with the state lines included. It doesn’t have to be very exact but roughly correct! Next., call out random state names and challenge your children to took turns finding the right place. Use different actions to make it even more fun (Australia example: “Drive to Queensland”, or “jump to Western Australia”).
94. Beep Test:
For teens who love to exercise, here’s a fun agility test. Draw two long chalk lines about 30 foot apart. Ask your teen to stand on one of the lines. Now make a loud BEEP sound (if you feel silly doing this, just shout GO!) Your teen has to run to the line before you BEEP again. Make it easy to start with by spacing your BEEPs far apart, which gives your teen plenty of time to reach the other line. Then begin making it harder by spacing your BEEPs more closely (the closer the beep, the faster your teen needs to run, see?) If your teen doesn’t reach the other line by the time of the BEEP, they’re out! Didcha’ know, they do this in the police force to test the fitness of potential officers. It’s a great cardio exercise.
I’m putting this here, as the concept of ‘hanging’ is, in my opinion, not suitable for younger children. Which is kinda’ a shame because the game of Hang-Man is a great way to reinforce sight words, phonics, and letter recall. Playing an extra large version of the game on the pavement is extra fun!
96. Change Your Hair Color:
Your teen can experiment with different hair styles simply by rubbing chalk on them. Genius!
97. Teen Pavement Murial:
Now that your teen has funky colored hair, why not incorporate it into a ‘pavement murial’. Be sure to take a photo if you have a camera handy!
98. Code Secrets:
Have your teen chalk a sentence in Secret Code. Make sure they put the code key next to the secret code on the driveway or sidewalk so that anyone who comes along can decode the secret message. Examples of symbols they could use include:
99. Dodgy Parking Police:
Ever fancied getting your own back on people who engage in dodgy parking? Well, that time has come (this game is more for your entertainment than your teen’s, but shucks, let them tag along for the educational experience). With your trusty piece of chalk, set off on a search for your city’s poor parkers. Once you have found an example, chalk an embarrassing message highlighting the error of their ways. Think of it as community service 😉
100. Clean Stuff:
No, really. Get your teen to do some chores: chalk can remove grease stains from clothing, clean grime from shirt collars, clean pewter, even brighten up fingernails! For a full list of chalk’s cleaning uses see here.
Hope y’all enjoyed the timeline. Now, before you depart.. something to bear in mind:
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