Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Summer is nearly upon us and what better way to have some outdoor fun than making (and then playing with!) homemade sidewalk chalk? Yes, I know you could just run to the store and buy some, but making it is a great way to engage kids. It also makes a wonderful, personal gift. You can be super creative with shapes and colors. Plus, there is just something about homemade sidewalk chalk that is neat. Kids feel proud that they made it themselves. Plus, it’s quick and easy and very inexpensive. And once you purchase the supplies (if you don’t already have them on hand) – you’ll have enough to make it over and over again this summer.
What You’ll Need
Most of these ingredients are easy to find at your local craft store. If you prefer to shop online, I’ve included my affiliates links (no extra cost to you!)
- 1/4 Cup warm water
- 1/2 Cup Plaster of Paris
- 2-3 Tbsp Washable Tempera Paint (in assorted colors!)
- Various Shapes/Molds to dry the chalk in
- Disposable/Reusable bowl and spoon to mix it in and with
Putting the chalk together is super, super fast. The longest, most agonizing part is waiting for it to dry! I’d definitely recommend warning your kids in advance that it has to dry before the playing can happen. That way you won’t get any disappointed little faces.
Ready? Let’s go.
Step 1 – Mix Plaster of Paris with Warm Water
Stir up the Plaster of Paris with the warm water. It’ll make a nice thickish paste…sort of the texture of grainy frosting. It should look something like the image below.
Step 2 – Add in Tempera Paint for Color
Now add some Tempera paint for color…the sky’s the limit. I used the basic primary colors (yellow, red, and blue) to make lots of different varieties.
Step 3 – Put Wet Chalk Mixture into Molds
I have a random collection of molds…baking supplies, ice cube trays from Ikea, soap trays from Michaels – you name it. So I had my four year old pick her favs from our stash. But the mold can be as simple as used toilet paper rolls…then when the chalk is dry – you just peel off the cardboard. It turns into a giant piece of homemade sidewalk chalk – perfect for littler hands to hold.
Simply spoon the mixture into the molds and press down to get as many bubbles out as possible. Use your hands if you don’t mind getting messy (and most little kids don’t!) The great thing is that this is washable tempera paint – so it doesn’t stain your skin too badly.
NOTE: if you opted not to use disposable bowls/spoons/etc – make sure you rinse off this mixture outside…I wouldn’t advise putting Plaster of Paris down your drain. You never know what kind of havoc that could cause to your pipes.
Step 4 – Let it Dry for 24 Hours
I know this is hard…but it’s so worth it! The chalk has to be thoroughly dried out or it’s more like wet marker chalk stuff. And it dissolves really fast if it’s damp. But hey – if that’s what you’re after go for it!!
Now you’re ready to play!
Don’t you just love how funky it looks? Have fun and involve your kiddos with deciding what shapes and colors and mixing!
Isn’t homemade sidewalk chalk super neato?