While there are certainly plenty of ways for little ones to let off steam outside, one of the most popular activities is exploring all the
different things you can do with sidewalk chalk. You've probably seen your friends post their kids' creations on social media, read a rant or two about how sidewalk chalk is on backorder right now (Pro tip: Your local grocery stores might still have some in stock), or taken to the driveway with a few sticks to create a masterpiece of your own, but drawing isn't the only fun thing you can do.
If you have a backyard, your kids might have a plethora of
outdoor toys and activities to choose from, but some families living in more urban areas or those in apartment homes may not have this option. For them, playing on city sidewalks or small porch areas is their only way to escape the confines of their house for a bit. In these situations, sidewalk chalk activities truly shine. A stick of colorful chalk and a slab of concrete (or even some siding or a fence if you want to get really creative) can entertain kids for quite a while when you have some easy activities at the ready. 1 Hopscotch
How many years has it been since you've played hopscotch? The traditional game is ridiculously simple to set up using sidewalk chalk. (Here's a quick tutorial on
how to play hopscotch if you've forgotten.) Not only does hopscotch provide a game for your kids to play, but it gives them an opportunity to move their bodies and burn off some excess energy while they play. 2 Sensory Trail
If your kids need to move more than being indoors allows them to do, creating a sensory trail for them to follow on the sidewalk is a fun way to get them up and get the wiggles out. Using chalk, draw directions on the ground for different activities to do as your kids follow the trail.
Spirals on the ground where they can spin, dots to hop on with one foot, horizontal lines to jump between with both feet, alternating spots to do frog jumps or bear crawls, and straight lines to balance on while walking are all great ideas to try.
You can easily create a game of foursquare by outlining a giant square area in sidewalk chalk and creating four different areas within the larger square. Use a ball that bounces (like a kickball or other rubber ball) to play with at least four players. Make sure to make your squares at least 5 feet across so that you have plenty of room for the ball to bounce from one square to the other between players.
4 A Day At The Beach
Have your kids draw out an entire beach scene with sidewalk chalk. Crashing waves, palm trees, the works. Then, you can set up lounge chairs or lay out towels on your "beach" to lounge in the sun.
5 Mosaic Art Photo courtesy of Ashley Jones
If you happen to have a roll of painter's tape stashed on a shelf in your garage, you can help your kids create a mosaic art masterpiece using sidewalk chalk. Start by taping off a large rectangle outline on a large surface area like your driveway or even on your fence, and then use smaller pieces of tape to create different shapes within the rectangle. Then, use your chalk to fill in each shape with a different color, making sure no two shapes next to each other are the same color.
When you've filled everything in, gently remove the painters tape to reveal your mosaic. This activity does use a lot of chalk because you're coloring in large solid blocks, but the result is totally worth it.
6 Checker Board
A giant checker board is easy to create using sidewalk chalk, but may require just a bit of measuring to get it perfectly symmetrical. Use a measuring tape to mark off a large area with equal-sized squares to create a checker board with eight squares on each side, coloring in every other square.
This will give you a total of 64 squares within your board that you can play a game of checkers on. You may have to get creative to make your actual checkers pieces, but some ideas are coloring paper plates black and red or using each person's personal shoe collection.
7 Bullseye Toss
Make a giant bullseye with different numbers within each ring. Once your bullseye is complete, your kids can take turns tossing beanbags into the bullseye to score points, sort of like you would if you were playing a game of darts. Don't have a beanbag? A sock filled with rice or dry beans and tied at the top will work just as well.
8 Self Portrait
Instead of using paper and pencil, your kids can use an entirely new medium for portraiture — sidewalk chalk. They may have to get creative if you have a limited amount of colors, but that's part of what makes creating their own face out of sidewalk chalk so fun. You can also trace the outline of their entire body onto the sidewalk and let them make a life-sized picture of themselves.
9 Inspirational Messages Image by Marie LaFauci/Moment/Getty Images
To share some joy with the world, you can use sidewalk chalk to share inspirational messages in writing on your driveway or sidewalks. Get creative with your lettering, use multiple colors, add drawings, and really use your imagination to help the messages come to life. People taking walks will see your messages and drawings and potentially be inspired to create their own, spreading kindness around.
10 Chalk Your House
One family in England spent time coloring in each brick on the
front of their home with sidewalk chalk, Good News Network reported. Their work resulted in a gorgeous rainbow-colored facade in start contrast to the red brick exteriors of their neighbors' homes. If you want to put a smile on your neighbors' faces, take to your own brick home with sidewalk chalk and watch your home transform into a brightly-colored oasis. 11 Tic Tac Toe
A normal game of tic tac toe using pen and paper might get old or seem repetitive after a while, but making the game out of sidewalk chalk can breathe new life into this simple game. To mix it up even further, your kids can use different colors of chalk, substitute their favorite shapes for Xs and Os (Hearts and diamonds, anyone?), or make their game board extra large so they have to really move around when it's their turn to make a move.
The game of Pictionary is one that always ends with my kids laughing ridiculously hard at my terrible sketching skills. To put a new twist on the classic game, you can use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures outside. You and your kids can write down ideas for drawing subjects on slips of paper, put them in a hat, and take turns selecting things to draw. Take turns drawing the pictures on the sidewalk and having everyone else guess what the drawing is, just like in the real game.