Summer brings all kinds of things: warm weather, long hours of sun, family vacations…and the end of the school year. If you’ve got a couple (or more) kids to keep track of, coming up with new and non-household-destructive ways to keep them entertained can get old fast. Luckily, the great outdoors are here to lend a helping hand! Every house has some kind of walkway, driveway, or pavement, and each of these surfaces can provide hours of fun with a bucket of sidewalk chalk. Even concrete garage floors can work– although nature’s eraser in the form of a rainstorm might not be able to lend a helping hand during cleanup!
When words aren’t enough, pictures always come in handy! Bring the Pictionary cue cards outside for more space and an easier cleanup– no giant pad of paper necessary. Form teams if your household is larger and keep track of points on the side, or just have fun with it and watch your kids’ creativity flourish!
Got the spirit of competition in your heart? It’s time for a drawing contest! Pick a subject and challenge your family to make the best representation using nothing but chalk. Turn your walkways into art galleries and experiment with new techniques. Some chalk sets even come with stencils! And if anything comes out a little less realistic than you’d hoped, just remember that “modern art” is a widely inclusive term.
Bring back the pavement games of past decades with hopscotch! Sidewalk chalk isn’t just about drawing– create game boards of your own to turn your driveway into a playground. Want something a little more complex? Try a game called “Snail” and draw a large spiral path on the ground. Divide the path into squares and have each player hop on one foot, square by square, from the outer ring to the very center of the spiral. If they make it without putting the other foot down or skipping squares, they can write their initials on a square of their choosing. Every player is permitted to jump with both feet on their own initialed square, but if it belongs to someone else? They must jump over it altogether. The player with the most squares once each one has been claimed is the game’s winner!
Your kids probably know this one. Popular in playgrounds and gym classes alike, FourSquare is exactly what it sounds like– a large square on the ground divided into four equal sections. Draw a diagonal line through one square to denote it as the top, usually called the King or Queen’s Square. Basic gameplay requires one person to stand in each square. The player in the “top” square, AKA the King or Queen, serves the ball by bouncing it into another player’s square. Players must bounce the ball between squares without catching it or allowing the ball to go out of bounds. If the ball hits a line, a redo takes place; if a player bounces the ball out of bounds, steps outside their own square, or fails to hit the ball after its first bounce in their square, they’re out! That player shifts to the “bottom” square– third clockwise from the “top”– and the rest of the players shift “up” or remain in place accordingly. A quick Google search will dig up a dozen additional “minigames” for your FourSquare match as well!
If the school year isn’t quite over yet and you’re having trouble keeping young minds on their lessons, move review sessions outside for a change of scenery. Write out equations or vocabulary words and take homework from the page to the ground beneath your feet. If you have little ones who are just beginning to learn their letters, providing a much larger medium to write on until their fine motor skills are more refined will make things easier for them. You might be surprised at how much difference a simple change of format can help with concentration– especially when your new “pencil” provides the perfect opportunity for a creative study break in between problems!
We hope these fun sidewalk chalk ideas help keep your family entertained this summer!
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