Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint {fun kid activity!}

The Heela typically has to work 1 weekend a month. Both days. In addition to working all week. From 7am to 7pm. And, no, he doesn't get paid anything extra for it. Raw deal, huh?

Yeah, well, not only is it hard on him, but I admit that it is often a little challenging for me too on those weekend when he works because I not only have to get all of our "normal" weekend responsibilities done {by myself} that don't get done during the week since we both work full-time, but I also have to take care of {and entertain} those 2 pesky preschoolers known as SweetPea and Boogey. WHAT??? The horror!!! ;)

Just kidding. They're not THAT pesky.Just a little annoying with having to eat 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks and drinks. Greedy little boogers! AND they want to be kept busy for 12 hours straight. Geesh! Where was THAT in the manual??!! I'm not sure I recall signing up for that part of parenthood!

OK... I kid, I kid. They're fabulous! And I do a damn good job as Mommy, thank you very much. But I dare any of you to tell me it isn't hard work! ;)

Anyway.... on weekends like this we usually spend the first half of the day running around doing errands (after a quick stop at the park. Ever been to the playground at 8am? It is pleasantly empty. I highly recommend!). It usually involves a trip to the grocery store and/or Target or some other necessary (but terribly boring for a 4 and 5 year old) task. So I like to try and do something a little more fun/creative in the afternoons. After all, these kids usually spend 10 hours a day at pre-school during the week where they are constantly being entertained or, at least, doing some sort of educational activity so they are used to being kept busy! So Momma gotta deliver! And I can only convince them that scrubbing the tile floors is fun so many times, ya know? ;)

So this past month, I decided to try out one of the activities from my "Kid's Crafts Ideas" Pinterest board. (of course I went and accidentally deleted the pin and now I can't remember where I found this idea originally, but it is all over blogland in various forms)

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

The recipe for this 'paint' is so easy it is barely worth listing out, but I'll do it anyway because it gives me something more to write about. [haha]. Basically, you want to combine 1 part water to 1 part cornstarch and then add a touch of food coloring. You can make your batches of each color paint as big or small as you want, but as long as you keep that one-to-one ratio, you'll be good to go. Here is what we did...

What you need (per color):
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water
A few drops of food coloring (I used Wilton gels)

Ingredients needed for DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

What to do:
The mixing and storing method is up to you, but here is what we did...

In a plastic cup, dump in 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Next, add 1/4 cup water.

Add 1 part water to 1 part corn starch

Stir well. Be sure to get all those globs out!
Stir well

Add a few drops of food coloring and stir well again.

Repeat in a new cup for each color desired.


(See, this isn't rocket science people! ;)

[note: The cornstarch will settle a bit as time passes so just be sure to stir up the paint before you use it each time]

We transferred our paints to a muffin tin so there was less chance of a cup tipping over and then headed outside with our paint brushes in hand. Here you go...

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

I have to say that the effect of the 'paint' was pretty cool and really did look like chalk once the water had evaporated. We did this activity on a warm day so the water evaporated almost instantly which gave us instant gratification. All the better! We had more success seeing the different colors on the white sidewalk than we did on the black driveway (which was no surprise) so keep that in mind when choosing your "canvas". We also noted that some colors showed up better than others for us, but that didn't detract from the fun in any way. My girls really enjoyed this activity and I will definitely do it again!

Be advised that this is a messy activity (assuming your kids are normal) so be prepared with some baby wipes/towels/a hose for clean up before going back in the house!

The carnage

And since you're already so messy, you might as well follow this activity up with some juicy watermelon. :)

Now get out there and have some ~FUN~!!!

*UPDATE* Since a few people have asked... We did not have any problems with stains on clothes (or kids!) but I will caveat that by saying my girls are 4 and 5 and managed to keep their clothes relatively clean. They really got more of the “paint” on their legs, arms and hands, but no color remained after a quick washing up. But, to be safe, I don’t let my kids do messy crafts in their “sunday best” anyway. In terms of the pavement, we actually had rain that very night and, much to the girls dismay, the “paint” was completely washed away with no evidence of the fun time the day before. But, I’ll add the disclaimer, of course, that your experience may vary so use your own judgment.

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  1. This looks like so much fun! I need to try this with my little ones soon!!!

  2. Would you care if I linked to your post on our blog? I was thinking I would make our own, use our own pictures but put a link to your blog giving credit to where the idea came from?

  3. What great colors they made! :) I need to pin this for my little guys! Thanks! I'd love to invite you to join our Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes. I know my readers will love your ideas!
    Happy Weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

  4. So simple, makes me wish we have some pave to paint on.

  5. Thank you for a great idea for our " summer staycation!"

  6. how well did this wash off the driveway/sidewalk?

  7. I would love to know this as well? I live in a co-op and some members are less than enthused with children's artwork on the walks. Does it wash off well enough that if I hit it with the hose after it would be gone, or would I be out there scrubbing the sidewalk?

  8. Hi Kalle and "anonymous" - In terms of the pavement, we actually had rain that very night and, much to the girls dismay, the "paint" was completely washed away with no evidence of the fun time the day before. So no scrubbing involved. I'll add the disclaimer, however, that your experience may vary depending on the type/volume of food coloring you use. But we had no problems with stains on pavement/clothes/skin. Have fun!

  9. If you want to make hard chalks, use plaster of paris and powdered tempra paint. Mix them up an pour into mini plastic shot glasses, or whatever mold you would like. They work great, and they last a long time on your pavement.

  10. What a fun idea! Love it! :)
    You will be featured at tomorrow's {nifty thrifty sunday}! I hope you'll stop by and grab a button! ;)
    xo! Vanessa

  11. SO fun! one note of warning: leaving children unattended may result in painted hands, feet, and faces lol should be fun at church tomorrow!

  12. Ooh, I've been flying solo with my boys for the past two weeks and I'm running out of things to do to entertain my Little Monkey. Thanks for reminding me about this! It will definitely be joining my arsenal. Have a fabulous weekend!

  13. Any storage recommendations? I was thinking about preparing the paint the night before.

    1. Hi Sarah! I haven't tried making this in advance so can't say for sure what your results would be. I can say that we found that the cornstarch settled a lot even during the couple of hours we made and used it and it had to be stirred up frequently. So you would definitely get some serious settlement overnight. I want to say, however, that I would imagine a quick stir the next day would re-constitute it though. Then again, leaving the mixture overnight may just leave a gloppy mess! LOL. I guess you can make one small batch and test it out. Let us know your results!

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  15. This post is perfect for the Monday Kid Corner Weekly Linky Party. The next party goes live Sunday morning and this week’s theme is SIDEWALK CHALK. Be sure to brush off those archives as well and link them up at See you there! Jennifer

  16. We made this paint and enjoyed making it and painting with it. We used liquid neon food coloring and had no trouble getting it to wash off. We even left it for two weeks and let the rain wash it away.


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