Passionate About Pittsburgh
and the Moms Who Live Here

Fostering Imagination // DIY Sidewalk Chalk


 

As a child I loved interior design. My friends and I would design living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens and we would design them all within a rocket ship in chalk in the driveway. I’d plan out where my bed would go, where my dresser would be situated, how my stove would be across from my sink, the art I’d hang on my wall, where I’d put my Coca Cola and all the fancy gadgets and levers I’d need to steer the ship into space. We would spend hours working on our designs, sometimes even coming back the next day if good ol’ mother nature hadn’t washed it all away.

Oh the power of our imagination. It’s really something. Just thinking of the word sparks a fire inside of me still. I believe that being encouraged to use my imagination, to dream, and to color outside of the lines is what shaped me into the person I am today. I attribute all the creative bits about me to having been encouraged to use my imagination.  

As a mother I want to foster that in my daughter. I want to encourage her to dream, to imagine, to be creative and to think outside of the box. I want to make space and time for imagination and creativity. Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” That quote really resonates with me. Why not nurture our little ones creatives minds. Take some time to slow down from the busy, turn off the electronics, and take to the outdoors. Why not build a rocket ship in your driveway and design all the rooms? Where would you put your coca cola? 

Did you know you can even make your own sidewalk chalk?!? You can use a silicone mold if you have one or how about those used up toilet or paper towel tubes.

  • If using paper towel tubes cut them to a good chalk size 
  • Begin by taping off the bottoms of your tubes
  • Next line the tubes with wax paper (this makes it easy to slide out the finished chalk)

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • 1 cup Plaster of Paris
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons of Tempera Paint
  • 5 drops of essential oil (optional, but I highly suggest it. The addition of essential oil enhances the sensory activity for your kiddos.)

HOW TO: 

  • STEP 1. Mix together water, tempera paint and essential oils.
  • STEP 2. Once mixed quickly add plaster of Paris.
  • STEP 3. Mix completely as quickly as possible and pour into molds.
  • STEP 4. Let sit in the mold for 24 hours. 
  • STEP 5. Remove from mold and let dry completely overnight. 

You can make them different colors or create a rainbow effect or striped chalk. If you want a rainbow effect, or to make striped chalk, allow the plaster to set a bit before pouring. That way you can layer it easily. For a swirly chalk, layer the colors and then use a skewer or stick to move it up and down the tubs swirling the colors together!

Once you have your chalk in hand it’s time to encourage imaginative play free from any agenda. Not ready to design a space ship just yet? That’s OK. Here are a few additional ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Start with hop scotch, or play a game of tic-tac-toe, trace each other, or explore color mixing. Did it rain? Even better. Have you ever drawn on wet pavement with chalk?? It’s amazing. Give it a go. How do your kiddos play with sidewalk chalk? Do you have a favorite memory of playing with chalk as a kid? I’d love to hear your stories. 

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