Sidewalk chalk is one of those marvelous summery entertainments for kids that costs very little and has great educational value.
Here's a list of 10 fun ideas we love to squeeze the amusement from your tub of sidewalk chalk.
1. Yeah, normally a 'chalk outline' of a body is a bad thing. But your preschooler doesn't need to know that. Trace his outline on the sidewalk and then let him color it in.
2. Draw a flower garden. I particularly like this one, since if it doesn't rain for a few days my chalk flowers last a lot longer than real flowers I might attempt to plant.
3. Make a color wheel. What better way to start to introduce the differences in the colors to your child?
4. Draw a prarie dog colony, and once your tunnels are established, race your stuffed animals from burrow to burrow.
5. Likewise, draw a small city, and use matchbox cars to maneuver from one side of town to the other.
6. Write out the alphabet in large letters, and then have your child call out simple words like "CAT". Spell the word for your child, having him run to each letter as it's said.
7. Draw some trails of animal tracks (horse, cat, bear). Have your child act out the animal as he follows the tracks.
8. Draw different rooms and play house.
9. Draw a maze. Have kids race to see who can go through the fastest. Have older children try to navigate backwards.
10. Instead of normal hopscotch, draw a river with scattered stones and logs. Have your child practice jumping from stone to stone without touching the water. If he touches the water, he has to go back to the start.