Summer is passing us in a blur of swimming suits, flip flops, bicycles, and sunshine. I wish we could live in a land of eternal summer. Vacations all day, every day! One of our favorite parts of summer is playing with friends. I try to find activities that my kids can do with their friends to really enjoy their summers together. We tried something new this week. They had fun with sidewalk chalk paint. This stuff is amazing.
Here is what you need:
—Containers for paint.
—Sidewalk chalk paint.
That is all you need! I recommend the sponge paintbrushes, the really cheap ones that you can buy from craft stores. They work the best. A bag of 25 of them is usually around $5. Very cheap. The containers that we used for our paint were just our regular food containers. You can do this because you can wash them.
You can definitely purchase sidewalk chalk paint. The benefit of this method is the ease of it. You need only open the package, add the water, mix it up, and paint. Easy. You will spend around $9 for the off-brand, but you will get 3 colors, a couple of brushes, a rolling paintbrush, and even a container for the paint itself. I did this for comparison purposes.
You can also make your own sidewalk chalk paint. Believe me when I tell you this is easy and even cheaper than buying it. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water with food coloring to desired hue. It’s that easy. You can also make sidewalk chalk paint from nothing other than sidewalk chalk itself! Do you have broken pieces of sidewalk chalk hanging around? You can break them down to powder if you have enough rage (or time on your hands), and add water. So there you have it. Three methods to get your sidewalk chalk paint. You have no excuses!
Setting up for this is easy. You just need to get the paint mixed up and take it outside to the sidewalk or driveway. It might be a good idea to sweep off the sidewalks or driveway in case of stickers and thorns. It would be sad to end the fun early because someone got hurt. Mixing the paint will take the most time, though, and it will take only minutes even if you are making the paint yourself. It might also be as good of an experience for you as it was for me.
I don’t even know why I keep cornstarch in my home. I had this terribly tragic and emotionally scarring experience the first time I tried to make gravy when I was married. I personally hate gravy, but my husband loves it. Someone told me you could make gravy with cornstarch and the drippings from the meat. I lack the words to describe what became of it. I kept trying to fix it, though, which made it worse. The sauce, if you could call it that, looked almost cancerous. In the end, we agreed that I would never again attempt gravy that way. I mean, does anyone use cornstarch for cooking anymore? I think it’s used strictly for science experiments.
So to be able to take my cornstarch out of the cupboard and make something so wonderful for my family like sidewalk chalk paint felt very redemptive for me. It was a massive success.
Once you have the paint and the brushes outside, just let loose! Have fun and create! I highly recommend music and friends. These two additions to the sidewalk chalk paint are perfect for creativity and happiness. I’m a homeschool mom, and to make matters worse I am actually one of those moms who offers kids bananas and sliced oranges and healthy granola bars when they want a treat. This all translates to me being the kind of mom that has to really step up my game when they have friends over. So throwing some upbeat music on for them is part of the fun. Of course, the sidewalk chalk paint itself won points with everyone. They had a great time telling each other stories about what they were painting. They even started to make their paintings into one big story.
I’ll tell you a secret, though: I had fun too. I have always hated drawing with chalk. I don’t like the way it feels in my hands or the way it sounds on the pavement. Whenever my children have wanted me to join them, I find excuses to avoid it. Sidewalk chalk paint, however, is just my thing. There is nothing to not like about it! It goes on perfectly. It stays. There is no dust. There isn’t any screeching of the chalk against the sidewalk. It all washes away. That part is important. You will absolutely have to hose your children off. They will most definitely get bored with painting the sidewalk and begin painting each other. It just happens. It’s fun.
I hope you give this a try before everyone heads back to school this week. It would be great fun if you invited a bunch of people over and everyone brought their own paint to share. The neon colors I made were the best. You could give everyone one section of the sidewalk to paint however they wanted. It would make for such an enjoyable way to decorate the street to send everyone back to school. Let me know how it goes in the comments! Have fun!