Games like hopscotch occupy kids for hours, and of course an essential part of this game is elaborate designs drawn on the sidewalk. Letting them draw with chalk on the sidewalk as a stand-alone activity can also help develop their artistic abilities; hey, even adults do this too! Part of the fun of being able to draw on sidewalks is making your own chalk, and it's so easy that even kids can help out in doing this project. This could also help your kids develop resourcefulness and creativity. So if you'd like to know how to make homemade sidewalk chalk, here are some tips to help you get started:
Prepare the needed materials. Make sure that you have complete materials; anyway, they're easy enough to procure. The ingredients you'd need are the following:
- 1 cup plaster of Paris
- ½ cup water
- powdered tempera paint
- a bit of mineral oil (optional)
- some stir sticks (popsicle sticks could work)
- something to use as a mold - it could be a toilet paper roll, egg cartons, small paper cup, or candy molds - anything you could use to shape your sidewalk chalk.
If you choose to use toilet paper roll as a mold, or anything else that is open at both sides, make sure to cover one end with masking tape. Also, for whatever mold you choose to use, you need to cover the insides with wax paper so the chalk could come off easily.
By the way, plaster of Paris is a kind of gypsum cement; it is a white powder that forms a paste when mixed with water and then hardens into solid. You can find it at most large craft stores.
Keep your space safe and protected. Making homemade sidewalk chalk could be very messy, so make sure that the tabletop or floor space you're working on is covered with layers of newspaper, and that you're wearing old clothes on top of your regular ones. Also, make sure to put on a pair of plastic gloves to protect your hands.
Follow instructions. Make sure you follow the instructions step-by-step:
- Mix the plaster of Paris with 1 cup of water. You may use paper cups for this.
- Add color to your mixture with the powdered tempera paint. One tip is to buy primary colors and then mix them to create other colors. You may also put in a drop of mineral oil each to prevent the chalk from becoming brittle.
- Blend the plaster of Paris mixture well by using the stir sticks. Let it stand for a few minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the molds you choose. Set aside and let it dry completely. This could take anywhere from several hours to one day, depending on how big the mold is.
- Once the mixture is dry, you can remove your chalk from the mold. Set it aside once again and let it air-dry for another 24 hours.
- Slide out the chalk from the mold - and you have homemade chalk!
Discard your materials properly. Make sure that you properly throw away your used materials. You may put the Popsicle sticks, molds, paper towels, etc. on top of the newspaper. Fold the newspaper and then throw everything away in the proper garbage bin. Make sure to that you don't wash the plaster down the drain as it may cause the pipes to clog.
Enjoy your homemade sidewalk chalk!