Get outside with the kids and create some beautiful transient art using this oh-so-easy sidewalk chalk paint recipe. Be sure to check out some of these sidewalk chalk ideas if you need inspiration.
Related: Fun Art Projects for Kids
When spring weather rolls around, it is time to break out the sidewalk chalk!
Let the kids create on driveways and sidewalks as they’re enjoying the fresh air.
They can even make their own hopscotch or obstacle courses to encourage moving their bodies.
How to Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint
If you don’t have any sidewalk chalk on-hand, make this super simple sidewalk chalk paint recipe as an alternative.
Honestly, it might end up as your go-to because it’s easy and fun to make.
The kids can definitely do the bulk of it, with some supervision and help from you.
Related: How to Make Slime with Kids
Materials You’ll Need
As I’ve mentioned a few times, this is a simple “recipe” for sidewalk chalk paint . . . so you don’t need too many supplies.
Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Food coloring or washable tempera paint
- Small containers with lids
- Paintbrushes (thick bristles work best)
- Mixing bowl (preferably with a spout)
- Whisk or spoon
DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint Directions
This chalk paint recipe is super simple. Be sure to get the kids involved in making it!
Start off by adding 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of water to your mixing bowl.
Then add about 10 drops of food coloring to the bowl. In the pictures, you’ll see what the neon food coloring looks like.
Related: Summer Messy Play Ideas
Use a whisk or a spoon to combine the chalk paint mixture.
The cornstarch will harden a bit with the addition of the water. Just keeping mixing until it’s the consistency you prefer.
Pour your sidewalk chalk paint into a container and seal the lid.
Repeat the process if you want additional colors, storing each color in a different container.
Some alternatives to the neon food coloring used here:
- Regular food coloring
- Washable tempera paint
- Jell-O or Kool-Aid powder
- Or just leave it white
Using the DIY Chalk Paint
Once you have the paint the way you’d like it, it’s time for the kids to get creating!
(I highly suggest doing a spot test on your driveway/sidewalk first. I’ve never run into staining issues, but it’s best to try it out on your own to make sure you won’t.)
Related: Messy Play Ideas at Home
Let the children choose one of the containers of paint. Have them shake it well (as long as the lid is on tight).
Then carefully open the top, dip a paintbrush in, and make some beautiful sidewalk chalk art.
The sky’s the limit in terms of what the kids can make with the sidewalk chalk paint.
Sit back and watch what they make . . . or you can join in on the fun too!
Here’s a quick look at the sidewalk chalk paint in action:
You don’t just have to use paintbrushes with this sidewalk paint, either.
Consider pouring some of the paint into spray bottles or squirt bottles. This lets the kids use some different techniques as they’re creating. Plus, spray and squirt bottles are just fun!
You can also try pouring some of your homemade sidewalk chalk paint into popsicle molds. Then pop the molds into the freezer. If you don’t have popsicle molds, use regular old ice cube trays and add craft sticks for handles.
Once all of the creation is done, make sure the lids are are put back on securely.
The sidewalk chalk paint will settle over time, so be sure to shake or stir it. This will turn the mixture back into a liquid when you’re ready to paint on the sidewalk.
After the children have had a blast painting all over the sidewalk and driveway, it’s time to think about clean up.
If your little artists have been especially creative, don’t forget to snap a picture of their transient art before cleaning up.
Then have the kids pack up the leftover paint and paintbrushes.
From there, you can clean up the sidewalk chalk paint a few different ways, but they all involve water!
If it’s about to rain (I swear it almost always rains right after we’ve created with chalk outside), let the rain wash it away. Just be sure to double-check there’s nothing left afterwards.
You could also grab a hose and spray it all away. Let the kids help with this, as long as you don’t mind the possibility of some wet kids.
It’s also a lot of fun to give the kids spray bottles filled with water, along with buckets of water and large paintbrushes. The kids can spray or paint the water over their creations.
Have you ever made your own sidewalk chalk paint? Feel free to share some tips or ideas in the comments below!
Done-For-You Resources for Kids
Preschool Teacher 101 has a variety of activities for children. Bonus: they’re already done for you!
Click on the photos below for more information on some of these products. If you’re a preschool teacher, be sure to check out the membership options available (and grab a free lesson plan set while you’re there).