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BACKYARD FUN: Sidewalk Chalk

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 5:59 am in Backyard fun.

Sidewalk chalk (Photo by MCT Direct)
Ever since we asked how you and your children like to wile away a lazy summer (or spring) afternoon, we’ve been totally inspired. Cindi and Cassandra’s descriptions of nature walks and vegetable gardens led to a Backyard Fun post on children’s gardens, strawberry pots and beanpole tepees, complete with instructions. This time, we’re riffing on a suggestion made by both Tiffany S. and Paula H. “Mine love playing out in the front yard with their friends,” says Paula. “They have sidewalk chalk, a wagon, balls and bubbles. They all make up games to play.”

Yeah, we know you can buy sidewalk chalk, but wouldn’t it be vastly more fun to make your own? So we went prowling around the internet, in search of an easy, do-able recipe. And voila! Bethany Sanders’ DIY Life blog had just the thing, a DIY sidewalk chalk made from plaster of Paris and tinted vivid shades of your choice. This chalk, she says, is “softer than the store-bought version, so kids’ pictures are brighter and more vibrant. And since you’re adding the paint yourself, you can create custom colors. Finally, like all sidewalk chalks, the artwork will wash away during the next rainstorm.” (And then you can retreat inside and watch “Mary Poppins.”)

The directions are simple and Bethany provides step-by-step photos, so round up a cup of plaster of paris, powdered tempera paint and some chalk-sized molds (even an ice cube tray will work), then follow the link to get blow-by-blow directions.

And now… what to do with all that chalk? There’s hopscotch and tic-tac-toe, of course, but also:

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