Who would have thought a box of sidewalk chalk could almost fill a day with fun and learning! From simply letting children express their creativity, to incorporating some fantastic learning opportunities – there are so many ways to use sidewalk chalk for learning!
Whether you are looking for some outdoor activities to use at school, or you’re currently in the midst of homeschooling… the options are endless with some colorful chalk!
Some of the ideas featured in this blog were found on a fantastic Facebook page called – Rainbow Trail Australia.
Sidewalk Chalk Activities Your Kids Will Love!
(1) Hopscotch Fun!
The traditional hopscotch can be used in a number of ways and for a number of ability levels.
In the example below, a number was called out and the child threw a rock onto the hopscotch board. Then, they had to hop to the box and perform the math equation using the number that was called out. Voila!
(2) Gross Motor Obstacle
Draw a hopscotch, circles for jumping, a swirly line to follow, a spot to do 10-star jumps, a spot to sing the alphabet while patting your head, and whatever else you can think of.
A great way to get your children outdoors working on their gross motor skills!
(3) Writing Practice
Although it seems simple, having children practice writing words they are learning is another super easy way to use sidewalk chalk.
In this example, a Kindergarten student is practicing writing his name using the correct letter formation and trying not to reverse his letters.
(4) Design and Plan a Town
Have you got someone who loves cars?
Why not design and plan a city. Brainstorm what to include in the town such as roads, traffic lights, parking lots, houses, shops, etc. Then, have a little bit of fun and watch your little one really get into some creative playing!
(5) Exploring Line and Angles
This super fun piece of artwork has many learning opportunities. Learn about using line and color in artwork. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to mark out a square and then add different angled lines within the square. Color each section different colors for a wonderful effect.
After you are finished, why not have older children work out the different angles of the shapes within the artwork. Bravo!
(6) Vertical Art Work
Similar to the above activity but on a wooden fence! Be careful of splinters. This is the perfect way to get creative if you don’t have a large area of cement around. For an extra learning experience, record your child explaining the steps they went through to create this piece of artwork and get them to send it to a friend or relative. A great way to practice speaking skills and exploring procedures.
(7) Clock Face
Draw a large clock face on the cement with numbers but no hands. The children are the hands!
Call out a time and have them lie on the clock face to show the correct time!
(8) Jump Around!
Circles with words – a simple idea but a great active way to learn sight words! Write the words in circles, call out words, and have your little learner jump around the circles to the words you call out!
Change it up and draw lily pads on the cement and have your little person jump around like a frog. It’s the simple things!
(9) Color Scavenger Hunt
Give your children a challenge to find as many things as they can that are a similar color to each of the pieces of chalk you have available.
Color in a square of each color and get the children to place the things they find on each of the squares.
(10) Random Acts of Kindness
Leaving a beautiful rainbow on a sidewalk is a simple way to spread some positivity and kindness into others’ lives.
Talk to your kids about how it makes them feel when someone is kind. Then, talk about what they could draw or write for someone else to see.
(11) Create a Giant Number Line
Draw a number line large enough for your children to jump along. Call out addition and subtraction facts and have them jump along the number line as they work them out.
For example, if you call out 20-5, they will start on 20 and jump back 5 places to 15. This is a great visual for children to see the difference between addition and subtraction.
(12) Letter Formation Fun
Write the basic letters on a sidewalk in chalk. Then, give your little one a cup of water and a paintbrush. They go over the letters with the paintbrush and water, concentrating on the correct formation of each letter.
(13) Drawing Story Elements
After listening to a picture book, why not have your children head outside and draw the story elements for the story – characters, setting, problem, and solution. For the younger students, you might have them focus on just the characters and/or the setting.
Afterwards, why not have the students add descriptive vocabulary around each of the images they have drawn? Or maybe personality traits around the characters. There is so much they can do with this activity!
(14) Bullseye Game
Draw a bullseye on the cement and put numbers in each circle. Give your child three turns to throw a small bean bag, or even a small rock, and add up their score. The person with the highest score, wins!
A basic game that will have your children doing mental math in their heads!
(15) Bug Swat!
Another activity that can consolidate a number of different skills such as sight word recognition, letter recognition, or basic digraph sound recognition. Draw some cute bugs on the sidewalk and find yourself a fly swat. In the example below we are practicing letter recognition. I would call out a letter and the child would swat the bug that had that letter on its body and say something that started with that letter.
Want to do sight word recognition? Replace the letter with sight words.
(16) Create Mazes
Create a maze for your child to work their way through – the bigger the better. You can make it large enough for your children to walk through, or small enough for some toy cars to find their way to the finish line.
Encourage your children to create their own mazes for others to work their way through.
(17) Sound it Out!
This is a great idea for all ages. Draw some simple ‘jumping’ circles on the ground for students to jump in for different sounds in words. For a Kindergarten student, you may say a simple CVC word such as ‘hat’. The child needs to jump into one circle per sound.
Do you have an older student? Call out their spelling words and get them to jump it out… I mean sound it out.
(18) Create a Giant Hundreds Chart
This is an idea that will keep on giving. Draw out a large grid to form the basis of your hundreds chart (100 squares). Then, get your child to fill it in. We like to start our hundreds chart from 0! For older students, you can go beyond 100, or even start at a larger number.
- Get children to put a circle around the odd numbers.
- Get children to place a star around the even numbers.
- Children can throw a rock and they need to say the number that is ten less, ten more, 1 less and 1 more than the number the rock lands on.
(19) Match-up Activities
Again, this can be used on a variety of topics. Write a list of numbers. Then, across from the numbers, draw squares with corresponding numbers of dots all mixed up. Children need to match the number to the dots.
Why not practice matching lowercase and uppercase letters, or beginning sounds with end sounds in words such as c-at and p-en.
(20) Get Creative!
When all is said and done – if the end result is a beautiful mix of images, letters, numbers, and whatever your children decide to do – it’s still a fantastic learning experience.
Letting their creative juices flow, practicing letters and numbers by themselves, and for younger students – developing their fine motor skills during this time is a win-win for everyone involved!
Don’t forget to share some positivity on your driveways or sidewalk as part of the Facebook group – Rainbow Trail. Here’s a beautiful example – wouldn’t this brighten your day if you drove or walked past.