Get Creative with Fun Sidewalk Chalk Ideas for Kids of All Ages
One of summer’s delights is the moment when your child leads you by the hand and shows you the “gallery” of sidewalk chalk art they’ve created that day. Sidewalk chalk is one of the staples of childhood whenever the weather permits, and it’s easy to see why. Fun, creative, and versatile, it gives kids a creative outlet and lets everyone spend time together in the fresh air and sunshine. With so many exciting sidewalk chalk ideas to try, your adventurous young street artist can enjoy tons of hands-on activities to keep them expressing and discovering well into the fall.
Ready to have some fun? Grab your box or bucket of colors, and let’s explore some easy sidewalk chalk ideas that will brighten up the neighborhood and keep you and your kid entranced for hours on end.
Sidewalk Chalk Activities for Every Age
Kids all around the world play with sidewalk chalk to create, move, and discover. No matter what they’re looking to do, there’s a fun sidewalk chalk game or activity that fits the bill. Here are a few options to explore.
Let’s be honest. Reviewing school stuff isn’t high on everyone’s summer activity list. But with a bit of imagination and some handy sidewalk chalk, your child will spend the summer learning without even knowing it.
- Rainbow tracing: This is such a fun sidewalk chalk idea for preschoolers. Write your child’s name or favorite word on the driveway with white chalk. Then help them trace the letters in a different color. Encourage them to keep tracing the letters in different colors to create a rainbow.
- Driveway tic-tac-toe: Create a large-scale grid on your family driveway or patio, and take turns filling in the boxes with Xs and Os, or get creative and allow your kid to choose their own shapes like hearts, stars, peace signs, or, depending on the age of the players, their own initials.
- Geography garden spray: Draw the outlines of countries or continents your kid knows. Hand them a watering can or the hose and ask them to “make it rain” in Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.
- Body map: Have your child lie on the sidewalk while you trace the outline of their body. Encourage them to color in or draw their body parts like eyes and knees. If your child is older, take a deep dive into anatomy by having them add organs inside the outline.
- Nature scavenger hunt: Draw circles on the ground in different colors. Send your kid out to find rocks, leaves, flowers, feathers, etc., then bring the items back and put them in the circles that match the items’ colors.
- Night sky mapping: This is a stellar way to spend a summer evening. Bring your child out after dark to copy the constellations they see in the night sky onto your driveway. If you want to spark your stargazer’s interest beforehand, try learning about the life cycle of stars.
Summertime is great for running around and getting dirty. These fun activities help keep your eager explorer moving—and help them get a good night’s sleep!
- Obstacle course: Create a hilarious DIY obstacle course for your kid full of silly challenges. Encourage them to jump from circle to circle, walk a twisted line, twirl in place, stomp on triangles, walk backward, and more. Time them to see who can get through the fastest.
- Sidewalk Simon Says: Draw a large pie chart with various colors on the sidewalk, and have players jump from color to color as you call them out.
- Little town roadway: This is a fun sidewalk chalk idea for toddlers. Create a maze of city streets complete with stop signs, one-ways, stores, schools, and other landmarks for your child to navigate using toy cars.
- Hop to it: If your kid is tired of hopscotch or four square, try adding additional numbers to help them learn their double digits, or reshape the playing grid to help them learn new shapes (triangles, hexagons, octagons, etc.).
Spark your child’s imagination with these fun and decorative sidewalk chalk art ideas.
- Silhouette chalk drawings: This is a perfect creative activity for a sunny day. Have your child make a silly pose and use chalk to outline their shadow on the ground. Then have them use more chalk to add silly faces, clothing, shoes, and other details to tell a story.
- Nature mandala: Incorporate nature into an art activity by encouraging your kid to make a sidewalk chalk mandala that they fill in with natural items such as grass, sticks, leaves, and pebbles.
- Stained glass driveway art: This simple art project is perfect for younger kids. Help them create a stencil pattern on the sidewalk using painter’s tape. When you’re done, they fill the spaces with chalk. After they finish, pull up the tape for a cool effect.
- Puddle art: A rainy day doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. Grab your rain boots and paintbrushes. It’s time to experiment with water and chalk to create sidewalk chalk paint. Find some puddles and use trial and error to create beautiful watercolor artwork.
Breathe new life into old family favorites by turning them into outdoor activities with a sidewalk chalk game.
- Sidewalk checkers: Challenge your neighbors to a supersized board game tournament by creating a larger-than-life checker setup made with sidewalk chalk and pieces you build out of paper plates.
- Dots and boxes: Update this game for the outdoors by drawing a grid made of dots on your driveway. Two or more players take turns drawing one line between two dots using different colors of chalk. The goal is to connect the dots to create boxes. The player who closes the most boxes wins.
- Target practice: Draw a series of targets with different point values based on size and distance from the starting point. Then encourage your child to hit the targets by throwing bean bags or water balloons.
Chalk Art: More Than Just a Fun Activity
Playing with sidewalk chalk gives your kid the chance to explore colors, discover shapes, and learn about many exciting subjects. Best of all, it’s an outlet for thoughts and feelings they may otherwise struggle to express.
Sidewalk art can also act as your child’s first introduction to the history of art and the works of great artists.
- A long tradition. Humans have been using mineral chalk to create art since the Stone Age. Lascaux Grotto in France contains the most famous examples of prehistoric chalk drawings, which date back about 17,000 years!
- Popular among the greats. Chalk wasn’t widely available as an art medium until the early Renaissance in the fifteenth century. Old masters like da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrant began incorporating it into their paintings and drawings to add a sense of depth and drama.
- Take it to the streets. In sixteenth-century Italy, people began drawing religious images on the paving stones that made up the public squares to earn a living. Visitors would toss them coins in passing as thanks. These street artists became so popular that festivals were held across Europe to celebrate their work. Eventually, the tradition spread throughout the continent and into England.
- Chalk goes pop. Chalk art became so popular that artists would include them in their works of fiction and cinema. One of the most well-known examples is Bert from Mary Poppins. Bert worked for a day as a screever—an English sidewalk chalk artist—creating the drawings Mary and the children visited on their outing.
- Modern art. Sidewalk chalk art is enjoying a renaissance after declining in popularity after World War II. Italy relaunched its annual sidewalk art festival in 1972. Since then, artists like David Zinn and Kurt Wenner have delighted people with their charming cartoon characters and realistic 3D drawings on sidewalks worldwide.
Want to unleash some more creativity? Why not discover fun facts about turtles or other animals and illustrate a story about their lives? If your kids are fascinated by space, they’ll enjoy this exploration of why planets are round. Afterward, encourage them to imagine what it would be like to live on a square or octagonal planet and draw the results.
Has your child’s creative fire been ignited by playing with sidewalk chalk? If so, it’s a good bet they’ll love engaging with other cultures from around the globe through the art and craft activities found in our World Edition subscription box.