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24 Things to do with Chalk: Art Ideas for Preschoolers

Featured by Twinkl in World Art Day Blog 

Searching for some fun things to do with chalk with your preschoolers or toddlers that are also educational chalk activities?

Chalk is not only fun to use but also a learning material that kids should be exposed to often. It is a great way to build fine motor control and creativity.

Washable kids’ chalk easily comes off skin and clothing and is a non-messy medium for use in art and writing.

It can feel a bit funny on the hands, however. For children with any sensory issues, like sensory processing disorder, you may want to purchase chalk holders available for various sizes of chalk, in single or multiple formats.

So, what can you do with chalk? Chalk art for preschoolers can take many forms.

Child hand draws a chalk flower

The possibilities are almost endless, and your children may come across new ways of using it while playing.

Check out these easy chalk art ideas to get some inspiration. The first 12 ideas are things to do with chalk inside, and the next 12 are easy sidewalk chalk ideas for outside.

Although many of these activities may be moved outdoors, the following suggestions tend to be small-scale and include many chalk art ideas on paper.

1. Draw and Write on Construction Paper

Construction paper is just coarse enough to offer a lovely surface for drawing and writing with chalk. Nighttime pictures made with white chalk on black or dark blue paper can be especially fun.

2. Play School

While “playing school” with a friend, children draw and write on large chalkboards or individual slates. They can take turns playing the parts of the teacher and student while giving and completing “assignments.”

One of the best things you can buy a child is a good, sturdy wooden art easel. They will use it for painting, drawing, playing ‘school’ and many other things.

It is also great for gross and fine motor control, and learning to cross the midline.

3. Paint with Wet Chalk

Place low dishes of water on the table. Dip the ends of the chalk sticks into the water, immediately painting with them on the paper.

Dark-coloured construction paper is often the best choice. The wet chalk forms a paint that is smoother and brighter than the original chalk.

4. Paint with Chalk and Water

Get your kids to draw a picture with chalk on watercolour paper. Use paintbrushes dipped in water to paint over the lines of their pictures.

The end result is a painting that looks much like art with watercolours.

5. Practise Letters and Numbers

You can tell when children are ready to start practising the writing of letters and numbers. They ask how to form them, begin trying on their own, and beg for tons of paper.

kid drawing numbers and letters with chalk

A reusable surface like a chalkboard is great, and you can make a fun and cheap eraser with an old sock they wear on their hand, or use a chalk eraser.

6. Draw and Write on Walls and Windows

Most home improvement stores sell blackboard wall paint. Some of these products work better than others, so do your homework when choosing a brand.

Paint a wall in the playroom, your child’s bedroom, or the kitchen. The paint can even be used on windows.

Your kids can draw or write to their hearts’ content on these surfaces. They may need help in washing the chalk off afterwards with soap and water.

7. Draw Roads and Tracks

Ask kids to draw a city with chalk on the garage or basement floor, complete with roads and “bridges,” or a racetrack.

Child playing with cars on chalk-drawn track outdoors.

On a large scale, a tricycle can be ridden on the streets. Drawn on a somewhat smaller scale, children can push their toy cars, trucks, and other community vehicles along the roads.

8. Make Paper Masterpieces Permanent

One possible negative about using dry chalk on paper is that the precious drawing and writing can be rubbed off by accident. Hairspray to the rescue!

Well out of children’s breathing distance, lightly spray the papers with a light film of aerosol hairspray, which works as a clear fixative.

9. Create Chalk Rubbings

Place thin items with texture underneath newsprint or copy paper: leaves, twigs, coins, and keys. Using the chalk on its side, get children to rub over the top of the items, which leaves the pattern on the paper.

If done outside, hold the paper up to a tree to rub for the imprint of the bark.

10. Mix Coloured Chalk with Salt

For use in a sensory bin or table, mix ground, coloured chalk with table salt. This mixture can be scooped, measured, poured into funnels, and built into roads to drive small play vehicles while enjoying the lovely chosen colour.

11. Use Chalk in a Science Experiment

Add crumbled or broken chalk pieces to a clear cup of white vinegar. Watch for the bubbles that soon begin to rise.

The calcium in the chalk reacts with the acidity of the vinegar. This forms carbon dioxide gas, which is then revealed as bubbles.

Here are some fun ways to expose little to science concepts.

12. Chalkboard Dot-to-Dot

Design dot-to-dot pictures on chalkboards. Children can connect the dots by completing the image or progressing through the numbers in the correct order (if they are older).

Next, here are some ideas for sidewalk chalk…

What can you do with sidewalk chalk besides free drawing on the paving? In the large-scale ideas below, these more substantial chunks of chalk can be perfect for outdoor use.

This set of sidewalk chalk comes with handy chalk holders:


13. Trace Shadows

Children learn a great deal about the sun’s movement by observing and noting the shadows at various times of the day.

With chalk on cement, they can trace the shadows of trees and other objects outdoors or of a willing person who is standing still for a few minutes. After tracing, they can draw and colour in the details.

14. Create a Maze

Mazes are super fun to make and walk through. Perhaps your children have been to a maze or you can also show pictures of mazes for some background.

On cement, draw a chalk maze, and get kids to add ideas of their own. Challenge them to find a way out of the maze.

15. Play Hopscotch

With sidewalk chalk, draw a hopscotch outline with 8-10 squares, rectangles, or triangles, on a sidewalk, driveway, or patio. Add the numbers in order.

For each turn, children throw an object, like a small rock or bottlecap, either onto the numbers in order or toward whichever number they wish.

As they hop through the outline, they must first skip over the one that holds the object. Coming back, they pick it up and return to the beginning.

Little girl drawing with chalk to make hopscotch

16. Draw an Obstacle Course

On a wide driveway or patio, draw an obstacle course for your children to use on foot or with small riding vehicles.

Add lines spaced apart for jumping and hopping, curvy lines for crawling, numbers to show how many times a certain feat must be accomplished, and directions in words like “slow,” “fast,” “start” and “end.”

For vehicle use, objects like ramps can also be added.

17. Play in a Chalk House

On a large cement area, budding interior designers and architects can draw chalk houses. To the outlines of rooms, they can also add drawings of furniture and household objects.

For literacy practice, they can label rooms with the words or first sounds they hear, like “b-B” for “bedroom.”

18. Walk and Race on Chalk Patterns

Draw wacky spirals, waves, and zig-zag patterns on the pavement.

With siblings or friends, take part in walking and running races to see who can stay on the lines and make it to the finish line first.

19. Create Mosaic Patterns

Create a crisscross pattern with tape on a paved area or a wooden fence, forming sections of varying-sized shapes. Fill in the sections with different colours of chalk.

Remove the tape when all sections have been filled to see the beautiful pattern that resembles a mosaic or stained glass.

20. Compare Nature’s Drawing Materials

In the garden, collect various natural items that may be used for drawing on cement: rocks, gravel, sticks, dandelions, and acorns, for example.

Draw and write on the cement with regular chalk and then with the various items found, comparing the results.

21. Make a Twister Board

On cement, draw and fill in large circles of various colours, placing them fairly close together.

The leader randomly calls out a colour and “left” or “right,” along with “foot” or “hand.” The players do their best to follow the directions and touch that colour with the limb called out without falling down.

22. Design a Counting or Alphabet “Garden”

Kids love to draw flowers. On the sidewalk or other cement area,  draw large circles for flowers, leaving the main flower part uncoloured and writing a number 1-10 in each space.

Your children then draw the matching number of petals on each flower. Stems and leaves can be added at the end.

23. Play Dice Matching

Draw a large rectangle on cement and divide it into six squares, labelling them 1-6.

Using regular or oversized dice, take turns rolling a die, picking it up, and running to the square with the number that matches.

Have your child recount the dots aloud as a double-check and for counting practice.

24. Make Puffy Sidewalk Paint

You can make your own puffy sidewalk paint with things you already have around your home or class.

Mix flour, water, dish soap, and grated sidewalk chalk, funnelling into squeeze bottles, one for each colour. Squeeze the mixture onto cement, where the art stays puffy until rinsed away.

Not only do children explore creativity and their artistic sides, but they also practise early maths and literacy skills through these activities with chalk.

In addition, they build large motor skills in many of the scenarios and develop their small motor skills every time they pick up a piece of chalk!

Are you a preschool teacher or working in Early Childhood Education? Would you like to receive regular emails with useful tips and play-based activity ideas to try with your children? Sign up for the newsletter!

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