Looking for a few outdoor screen-free activities to do with your kids this summer? Take a look at this extensive list of chalk ideas your children will enjoy partaking in with one of their favorite (and colorful) art supplies-chalk. Grab a huge pack of sidewalk chalk and let’s have some fun!
19 Chalk Ideas For Fun And Educational Activities
I like being prepared, especially during the Summer months.
I’ve adapted a much more go-with-the flow flexible schedule as the kids have gotten older and no longer nap, but when I had three under 4, I couldn’t live without a plan.
Things just flow better with it, and I feel more prepared because of it.
On Sunday why I like to make a list of activities for the week so on Sunday night I know how our week is shaping up.
You can make a big list of trips and bucket list adventures your family is going to do, but what about those hours in the afternoon when everyone is complaining they’re “bored.”
The fun 1-2 hour activities break up the day and are helpful to have in your back pocket so you don’t turn to screens or devices.
These are the activities you can do anytime, any day… and from one Mom to another, they may be even more important than the big stuff to keep the day moving along.
What’s your plan to keep the kids busy, engaged, and entertained?
There’s only so much reading and playing the kids can do. I have found that getting their interest (and energy) focused on outdoor activities is what we all enjoy the most.
In my house, we are doing our best to limit screentime with the kids. That’s why I put together this list of fun educational activities that you can do with sidewalk chalk, and keep everyone away from screens and devices.
Summer is the perfect time for children to explore, be creative, and have fun with learning. Plus, jumbo sidewalk chalk is one of the most versatile summertime supplies there is.
The kids had a blast making giant mosaic art using chalk outside last year, so I thought incorporating a few more chalk ideas and activities would be a great way to start summer off with a bang.
Here are 19 easy sidewalk chalk ideas to incorporate into your summer bucket list!
1) Teach Negative Space With Chalk Resist Art
Of course, you can use chalk to teach art.
It is an art supply, after all.
I like making resist art because pulling away from the stencil or tape leaves this really stunning image no matter the child’s skill in making it.
They will always be proud of the work they create! You can discuss the ideas of negative and positive space with older kids.
To do the activity, use tape to spell a word or make a paper stencil to tape down and let your kids color over the rest of the uncovered sidewalk. Peel back the tape or remove the stencil to see your cool design!
2) Draw A Life-Size Chalk Self-Portrait
This activity is fun on a cool sidewalk, maybe in the shade. This idea from Be the Best Nanny is super fun and makes for a great photo afterwards.
Using the chalk, trace the body of the child as they lay on the pavement. Then, let the child draw in the details of how they see themselves.
Fun Tip: You can take a photo of the child lying next to their life-sized self-portrait for memories after the rain washes their art away.
3) Chalk Ideas For Sight Word Practice
This is a great educational chalk game! Help your kiddo go back to school this fall with strong reading skills by using chalk to practice sight words.
After choosing the best reading book for their reading level, you can write easy words like like, the, and sit on the sidewalk. The kids can then trace them with a finger in the positive space around each word.
You can also draw them in a hopscotch pattern where they read the word as they play hopscotch.
Idea from Educators Spin on It.
4) Create Your Own Race Track For Toy Cars
Use chalk to design your own race track. Use some non-toxic chalk to draw a straight line on the sidewalk, then draw a curve and another straight line to make the road. You can use a toy car or Hot Wheels for this activity!
Your child can also fill in the areas around the race track with trees, plants, buildings – whatever their creativity calls for.
On a hot summer day, the children can sit on the sidewalk and race toy cars on a chalk track.
5) Make Someone Smile With A Kind Saying
Did you know that you can use chalk to make strangers smile? Spend some time writing fun, kind messages that passersby can’t help smile at when they see.
Messages could include:
- You brighten the world.
- Be kind to everyone.
- You are gorgeous.
- Hey You! You are unique and a joy!
- Eek! You are the cutest person I’ve ever seen.
Extending kindness to a stranger may possibly be the most important type of education. Here’s a giant chalk art mosaic heart we put on our garage to brighten our neighborhood.
6) Draw A Funny Walking Path
It’s like a chalk obstacle course with instructions on how to do this funny chalk walk.
You can draw a line to follow, drawn stones that say “hop,” and even leave instructions on how to walk this line like a chicken!
7) Play Skip Counting Hopscotch
Hopscotch is actually a great way to teach skip counting. In a hopscotch path, draw in whatever numbers you want to skip count.
You can teach your children to count by 2s, 5s, 10s, or even harder ones like 3s, 4s, 7s, and 8s. When you get to multiplication, your child will already know the pattern of how to skip count.
8) Draw A Life-Size Fairy Tale Scene
In a parking lot or driveway, make a life-size fairy tale scene. You don’t have to add the characters, just the scenery, like an enchanted forest, a witch’s candy cottage, and whatever your children dream up.
Then, they can play pretend to reenact all their favorite fairy tales!
9) Create Funny Photo Ops
Another fun activity to do with chalk is to make a funny sidewalk photo op. It can be a lesson in perspective for older kids to draw the scene with the idea of standing to take the photo.
You can draw different hats and accessories for younger kids that they can lay on the ground and “try on.”
10) Chalk Ideas For Spelling Practice
Does your child need to practice their spelling but would rather just get grounded? Try mixing it up by taking the spelling practice outside and using chalk.
This is a low-energy activity for moms too! Kids can make a spelling walk, where they write their spelling words on the sidewalk and afterward hop on the words and spell them out loud.
11) Make A Chalk Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun way to combine nature studies and chalk. Parents and kids can draw different items for your kids to find outside. Then, draw a box beside each picture to put the items when your children find them!
You can even include early math by including the number of items they need to find with that.
Ideas for your scavenger hunt:
- Pine Cones
Tip: Check out this outdoor sensory scavenger hunt for a few more ideas or print a copy and give it a shot.
This fun outdoor chalk scavenger hunt from nature store sure is fun!
12) Chalk Maze Ideas
Mazes are so much fun. And, you can take them off the paper and make them life-size without growing an entire garden of hedges.
Chalk to the rescue again! Use chalk to draw a maze on a parking lot or driveway.
These can be big enough for your child to walk through, or they can be small enough to make a toy or car compete. Work with the space you have.
This maze from Hands on as We Grow is so much fun!
13) Simon Says: Chalk Edition
Simon Says is a classic childhood game, and you can play it with chalk too!
Simply tell your child what to draw using the command Simon says. Erasing it when Simon doesn’t say is nearly impossible, which makes the drawing pretty silly, too.
“Simon says, ‘Draw a big, round circle!'”
“Simon says, ‘Give the circle a set of eyes.'”
“Now, a big elephant trunk!”
You can also create a giant Twister board like Super Healthy Kids did.
14) Use Chalk To Teach Sentence Structure
Write a sentence on the sidewalk such as, “My dog is white, and he has four legs.” You can teach parts of speech like verbs and adjectives.
Have your child underline the parts of speech you ask for in different colors, and then they can draw a picture to match the sentence.
15) Work On Prepositions With Sidewalk Chalk
Tell your child to draw a house. Draw a tree BESIDE the house. Draw a bird ON the tree. Now, draw a hole IN the ground. Draw a rock IN FRONT of the house. Draw a worm UNDER the rock.
You get the picture.
Now, you can have your child help you identify all the prepositions they heard while drawing their picture.
16) Practice Letter Identification
You can help your child learn their letters using chalk. Write the alphabet and arm them with a water gun to wash away the letters you call out! How fun is that?
If water sounds too messy or it’s not the right season, try having them jump on the letter as you call it out.
You can also do a letter scavenger hunt! Write the letter and let your child find something that starts with the most common sound that the letter makes.
17) Practice Handwriting With Jokes
What do you call a sleeping dinosaur? Dino-SNORE!
Okay – you can probably come up with a lot better jokes than that. But, writing jokes is one way to get your reluctant writer to want to write.
Grab a book of best kids jokes and start sharing with neighbors and passerbys.
Put jokes on the sidewalk to get a smile out of anyone who walks the path. You can print out some jokes or let your kid come up with their own funny bone ticklers.
18) Write A Story
Sidewalk squares are the perfect block to write stories!
You can teach your children that stories have a beginning, middle, and end by having them use 3 sidewalk squares to make a story.
The kids may not be able to write the entire story, but they can at least suggest the beginning, middle, and end of the story they want to tell. After they write a simple sentence for that part of the story, they can draw a picture to elaborate.
19) Chalk Number Identification
Write a number and have your child identify it. Then, find the number of items to practice counting simultaneously. You can also put a certain number of items, have your child count the items, and write the correct number. This math game from Look We’re Looking is fun and clever!
Summer is a great time for children to explore, be creative, and have fun with learning. You can use the free time to read, create art, sing, and, most importantly – have fun outside with your children!
The chalk ideas listed above are a great way to show your child that you are interested in what they do and want to help them learn. Do you have any fun activities that I missed?
More Resources On Positive Parenting & Screen-Free Kids:
- Giant Mosaic Art: Chalk Art Mosaic for Kids & a Fun Outdoor Activity
- 18 Fun & Easy Outdoor Activities for Kids to Play Outside
- 50 Screen-Free Activities For Kids This Summer
- Sample Summer Schedules For Kids
- A Guide To Summer Screentime
- 50 Activities and Experiments To Keep Kids Learning This Summer
- The Ultimate Summer Bucket List