On sunny days when everyone just needs to get outside, it can still be tricky to find the right activity to occupy the whole family.
Today we are reviewing some of the benefits of working with chalk and give you the best ways to utilize this artistic medium. It gets a little messy, but thankfully it washes away. Even better, this is an outdoor activity, so that definitely makes the clean-up afterward a lot easier.
Everyone will be having fun, bonding, and growing; you’ll be adding this to the weekly activity list in no time. And if you are already fans of chalk, you’ll love these inventive ways to add in some learning and cognitive growth with fun pictures to draw.
Before you begin, make sure you’re ready. The mess is outside, thank goodness, but there’s still prep and setup before you start having fun. This little list will ensure you’re set up for success and that everyone has the most fun possible.
Plenty of Chalk
Chalk can break, especially with young artists. Kids might either color too roughly or forget to rotate the chalk for even use, so make sure that you come prepared. Don’t throw scraps away; grab a new box and fill it full of broken chalk pieces. Have as much chalk as possible on hand when inspiration strikes the family.
Lots of Colors
When out shopping for chalk, consider a wider range of colors. Some boxes (like a 24 or 48 set) offer a plethora of shades and hues to make the most colorful sidewalk creations.
Kids will love being able to discern between shades of blue or green to pick the right one for their animals and other drawings.
Plus, pointing out the names for colors is a simple way to work on color recognition. Not only will they expand their knowledge base and imagination, but they’ll be gaining skills in identifying colors like cyan and burgundy, rather than just blue or red.
Towels and Wipes
Have some old towels and wet wipes on hand after you’re done drawing your masterpieces. Even though some children love to get messy, others prefer not to and may want to clean their hands from time to time.
Wipes also aid in post-playtime cleaning. After completing a few drawings, you can expect chalk to be on your clothes, hands, feet, or shoes. If you don’t wipe yourselves down before going back inside, expect all that dust to follow you into the house.
Having a few towels on hand will help wipe away the dust and get as much chalk off your clothes as possible before going back into the house. Wet wipes will clean your hands and feet right away as well so that there are no toe tracks or dusty door handles to manage.
If chalk dust does sneak past your watchful eye, most of it can be washed out with simple instructions. However, there may be instances when a trip to the dry cleaner is in order.
The Right Clothes
Do not play with chalk in your fanciest dresses or button-downs. They will be dusty and full of chalk in a matter of minutes, so choose comfortable shirts and pants so that you can stay stress-free while everyone has fun drawing.
Recommendation: have extra clothes on standby. If you’re drawing on the driveway or the sidewalk right outside of your home, have some extra clothes in the garage ready to go once you’re done drawing.
You’ll be able to change into clean clothes before going back inside. Then, you can take the dusty clothes either right to the washer or leave them in a pile outside to shake out later.
19 Best Things To Draw With Chalk
Now that you’re ready to draw, you’ll need some inspiration. These 19 chalk art ideas are perfect for budding curiosities and growing imaginations. You’ll be able to go through exciting lessons and learning exercises, as well as teach little ones about the world around us.
There’s so much you can do, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
A great way to talk and teach about emotions is to draw different faces. Your kiddos will be able to perfect motor skills by drawing circles and expanding their understanding of what it means to be happy, sad, or scared.
You can casually chat about when they felt these different emotions or when you did. Putting words to pictures of emotions can help children recognize different feelings faster, which is a key step to emotional regulation.
2. Underwater Scene
What better way to teach your kids about the deep blue sea than with a fun underwater scene?
Head to the library (or Google) to look at various sea creatures. Then, draw them together and pretend to be deep-sea divers exploring the big blue ocean. Despite the factual information inspiration, there’s no need to be bound by reality — Loch Ness Monsters and mermaids are welcome here.
One of the most awesome ways to breathe life into art is to draw scenes that blow you away, literally. Sketch a big bunch of balloons that are all tied up together, and then take a mini photoshoot of your mini pretending to be swept away by them.
Don’t stop at balloons either; draw giant mushrooms to sit on or swings to fly high in the sky. Your children will love being able to make different faces for pictures, and you’ll have new memories to hold onto.
If your child is reaching school or preschool age, it could be time to start learning their letters. Practice recognizing the alphabet to expand knowledge and drawing the alphabet to expand motor skills.
Both of these will feel like fun with chalk and not as challenging as mastering a thin pencil.
As parents, we know how much fun we had on the playground hopscotch court. It’s something simple to play with friends; why not teach your kids about one of our better recess memories?
A lot of playgrounds at schools still have hopscotch, so they will see it eventually, but why not start that tradition early? You’ll drain some of that wild energy and find a new way to play together.
Just like our little ones could always use some extra help with their letters, the same goes for their numbers. Create funny monsters with numbers, or add faces and feet to create robots that talk to each other.
You can also start adding math as they progress with their numbers to give them a leg up on homework and classwork.
Another great way to get your art to be interactive is a racetrack. You can create a city scene or a racetrack outfitted for the likes of Lightning McQueen.
Either way, it will keep your children engaged long after the drawing is over — encourage your little ones to follow the race track on a scooter or bike for the ultimate interactive art experience.
Letters, numbers, and now shapes, oh my! While the structured classroom provides an opportunity to identify shapes in the world around them, using chalk to draw these shapes will help foster more finite motor skills and help them recognize shapes more efficiently. Younger students can work on triangles and circles, while older learners can work on three-dimensional shapes.
Maybe they don’t need a giant bunch of balloons to sweep them away; maybe they need butterfly or dragon wings to fly. This is another street art medium that is really popular right now, and your kids would love to create their own mural at home.
They’ll be able to draw the wings and decorate them to their liking. Have your growing-artists lie down with their backs to the wings. Grab a camera, snap a picture, and frame those new adorable photos for the mantle.
10. Beach Scene
There’s nothing quite like relaxing by the shore, basking in the sun. Take your chalk art to the next level with a bright and sunny beach scene. You can create water and sand and even draw some chairs to sit in while you enjoy the weather.
11. National Monuments
Hoping to squeeze in a history lesson during playtime? Have your children draw their own versions of national monuments.
Print out pictures, go over what each site is, draw them outside, and “visit” them together. The kids won’t know they’re learning, and you’ll have fun opening their eyes to new experiences around the country.
12. Snowball Fight
Hot summer days got you down? Draw an ice village. Populate the town with the creatures of imagination: penguins in scarves, polar bears with skis, and seals drinking hot cocoa. You can even print these pictures to create a countdown calendar until the first day of winter.
13. Christmas Tree
Drawing and decorating a Christmas tree is a great way to advance critical thinking skills. You and your kids can draw and color in a large tree, then slowly decide what types of ornaments and decorations you would like to add.
It will be joyful deciding on new wreaths and lights, and they’ll be making decisions and gaining vital skills in making decisions. Blast some holiday music to really get in the pre-spirit.
14. Fruit Stand
While we may leave actual lemonade stands to the bigger kids, younger ones can draw and manage a fruit stand with chalk art. You’ll be able to decide which fruits and vegetables to sell and pick colors to draw them all.
(This activity can reinforce the difference between different colors and food items.)
15. Flower Garden
Giant flowers to walk through are always a hit with the little ones. You can draw different sizes and shapes for petals and create brightly colored and wildly patterned flowers to draw out creativity and imagination.
16. Paint With Chalk
If your kids like to paint, but the outdoors beckons them, create some magic with sidewalk paint. This is a wonderful opportunity to use any broken chalk pieces you have lying around.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chalk pieces
- Air-tight container
First, crush up the chalk. Then add little bits of water until you achieve a paint-like consistency. It may take some time to thicken, but then it’s ready. If you have leftover chalk paint, pour it into the airtight container for later use.
Just make sure your driveway or sidewalk is able to handle paint; any surface too porous may be damaged.
17. Shooting Stars
Shooting stars are always exciting to see and find in the night sky, but if your day is feeling long, try drawing a few shooting stars to pretend. Kids will fine-tune motor skills trying to sketch the points on a star and can think up wishes for all the shooting stars they sketch.
18. Obstacle Course
If your kids have too much energy, try drawing and running through an obstacle course. You can decide together some challenges to draw, then have fun trying to get through them together.
If they have spare energy to burn, try timing each run-through to see who can manage the obstacles the fastest. If they get through it too fast, add some extra steps in to have them challenge themselves more.
19. Sight Words
There are plenty of sight words to learn as children, and as adults, we probably forget how difficult these can be. Playing a game of bubble sight words or dart gun sight words can be enjoyable and very helpful to the bigger kids in the house.
You can draw a bunch of circles for targets and write different sight words to each. Then they can either hopscotch their way to the end or shoot darts at each word they know. Lessons with positive associations have a far more significant impact.
Why Should Kids Play With Chalk?
Whether or not you’re new to chalk, you might not realize how much our kids can learn from drawing portraits on the sidewalk.
There are many benefits to using chalk and creating pictures:
Practice School Skills
Practicing math or recognizing letters will help them practice early-elementary skills without any of the “homework grumbles.”
Supervising adults can incorporate phonics and letter and number recognition into games without making it obvious what you’re doing. For example, children can trace letters, practice writing their names or connect the right sum to a math problem.
Fine-Tune Fine Motor Skills
Holding chalk is a helpful skill as they learn to hold other items, like pencils and scissors. They’ll be expanding their expertise with fine motor skills, a lesson they have to learn to get by as they get older, the fun way.
As parents, we know that when we are able to enjoy the lesson or the skills being taught, we retain more information and are encouraged to do more.
Encourage a Love of Art
Coloring and drawing new pictures, places, and animals foster a love and appreciation for art in your little ones. They will grow up inquisitive about painting mediums, color theory, and professional artists.
It’s not an essential skill, of course, but an appreciation for the arts helps enrich the culture in your home and your child’s understanding and appreciation for culture as they get older. We take a lot of the experiences as children and relate them to other outside outlets as we age and mature.
Encourage Emotional Growth
Encouraging games and drawings that display different emotions and reactions to situations can help expand your child’s emotional range as well as their recognition of these emotions.
The more fully we can observe and pinpoint an emotion we (or those around us) are experiencing, the better we can learn to harness and control those emotions. Drawing sadness, happiness, and more can also help encourage our kids to talk to us about feelings they’re experiencing and create that connection for the future.
If your child knows that you accept their mood swings, they’re more likely to keep you in the loop with their various emotions and feelings. As caregivers, we want to know how our kids are feeling and what they’re going through. Simple games like this when they’re young help them grow up feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings as they enter the tween years and beyond.
The sky’s the limit when you’re drawing, and the little ones will take their imaginations to new and exciting places with a bit of encouragement. Childhood imagination doesn’t stay behind as we get older; it just transforms. Adults rely on imagination, too — just in slightly different ways.
We become inquisitive about our environment and learn problem-solving skills by exploring the corners of our imagination. Think of all those miraculous inventions that wouldn’t exist if some creator somewhere didn’t question what they knew. Every time we approach a new situation with a “why” or “how,” that’s our childhood imagination at work.
Watch the Kids Learn and Grow
You are so ready to get out there and paint the town red, white, green, or purple. Whatever you choose to do, remember that these moments will be some of those core memories your kids will take with them as they grow, so have as much fun as possible.