Have you tried making sidewalk paint? My kids really prefer it over regular chalk. In fact, my kiddies will seldom draw on the back patio with chalk, but give them some paint and they’ll go after the whole neighborhood. There are a couple of different recipes for sidewalk paint. I’ve shared a new and improved version of a cornstarch recipe. This recipe, however, was not my own. It is Allison’s from Learn Play Imagine. (See her post here). Where the two differ is in the method.
- sidewalk chalk
Sorry, but I don’t ever count water as an ingredient, thus making this a one ingredient recipe.
Anyway, to make this sidewalk paint, begin by soaking sidewalk chalk in water for at least overnight. I didn’t measure the water, but holding the chalk in a zip top baggie you can see that the water completely covers the chalk. Once you’ve added water, you may have to add a bit more, as it will absorb into the chalk. You want your baggie of chalk/water to look like the picture below for the soaking.
Now, let the sticks of chalk soak for at least overnight. To be completely honest, life got busy for us and the chalk ended up soaking for an entire week!
Once your chalk has had a chance to thoroughly soak and absorb lots of water, (there should still be water remaining, like the photo of the baggie of blue chalk above), carefully break the chalk into chunks of fourths while still in the bag. Place the contents of the bag into a blender. Yup, you’re going to wiz this up into a thin paste. I used my “chop ice” setting to begin each color, then switched to “puree” to finish. Using a blender eliminates most of the chunks of the chalk, and kind of emulsifies it with the water. You may need to add some water, but don’t add too much. You want it to be about as thick as any other washable kids paint. See the picture below.
*** A note on the blender, I have one that completely disassembles for cleaning, so I did not hesitate to use it for blending sidewalk chalk paint. If your blender does not disassemble, you may want to try Learn Play Imagine’s method. ***
Pour the chalk paint into individual containers. I used containers with a lid so that they could keep for a while. Invite your toddler or preschooler to paint!
William begins by writing his name.
I write Corinne’s name for her, and she colors it in.
See how beautifully it dries? It looks just like chalk, but I love the bold strokes from using a thick paint brush.
William and Corinne painted the back patio until there was not more space left to paint. They had it on their toes and legs, hands and arms, so we washed off with the hose. Because this is a paint, it will dry a little thicker than chalk, but it sprays off with the hose (or a good rain) just like chalk does.
If you’ve poured the paint into a lidded container, it will have a very long shelf life. When you get it out again, you may need to give the paint a little stir (just like vinaigrette salad dressing needs a little shake) to mix the water and chalk again.
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction