Sidewalk chalk art, games, and activities are the ultimate in cheap kids' activities. Whether you're looking for a boredom buster or to cheer up the neighborhood, there are endless things you can do with sidewalk chalk and kids of all ages.
Unique Sidewalk Chalk Art Ideas
Sidewalk chalk drawings are one of the easiest and most common kids' art projects at home. Open your imagination and your box of chalk to get started creating beautiful temporary art. Don't forget to take a picture as soon as the piece is finished, sidewalk chalk art doesn't last forever.
Laying Down Photo Ops
Create fun, interactive pictures on the sidewalk or driveway that kids can use as a photo opportunity. The more imaginative, the better. Have kids lay down on the sidewalk as others start to create the images so you ensure it's spaced out properly. The idea is a kid could lay in a specific position on the sidewalk next to your image and someone would take a picture of them from above.
- Draw butterfly wings coming out from your torso as you lay on the cememt. Add a colorful pattern and snap a photo.
- Recreate the epic Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort wand battle by drawing two wands about 3 feet apart. Draw a green line from one wand and a red line from the other. These lines should meet in the middle. One kid can pose as if they're holding each wand.
- Draw a series of funny hats so the child can lay under the hat drawing as if she's trying on the hat.
- Draw a giant set of spread peacock feathers so kids can lay in the center of it and look like a peacock.
Mandalas are beautiful spiritual tools that look like simple works of art. You can create a mandala on the sidewalk by yourself, or leave it undone so others can contribute to making it. You can learn to make a mandala using a few simple tools like straight edges or compasses or you can draw them freehand. Check out printable mandala designs to copy onto your sidewalk.
Nature Stencil Art
Use things you find in nature as stencils for creative art designs. You won't be using these as traditional stencils where you simply trace around the outer edge.
- Find a few things in nature that you could lay relatively flat on the ground and that have some width. Things like leaves, flower petals, or pieces of bark work well.
- Lay one item flat on the sidewalk.
- Choose several colors of chalk.
- Starting with one piece of chalk, color out from one edge of your stencil. You can color out as far as you want by quickly drawing lines that start from the edge of the stencil and extend a few inches out away from it.
- Repeat this process with each chalk color until you've colored out from every side of your stencil.
- When you pick the stencil up, you the sidewalk should be the same shape as your stencil and that shape will be surrounded by chunks of different colors.
Chalk Splatter Paintings
You'll need a liquid chalk or homemade puffy chalk recipe to make these crazy paintings. Splatter painting basically involves flinging your paint, in this case liquid chalk, off the paintbrush and onto the sidewalk.
- Dip your paintbrush in the liquid paint.
- Stand near the edge of the sidewalk and quickly move your hand holding the paintbrush toward the sidewalk so the paint flies of it.
- What you'll end up with are a bunch of splatters on the sidewalk.
Pointillism is a cool kind of art where an image is made out of a bunch of tiny dots. In this case, you'll use the naturally circular end of chalk pieces to help you make the dots.
- Think of an easy scene you want to draw.
- Start by creating any small images in your scene. Save the background fill for last.
- Hold a piece of chalk upright on the sidewalk so the flat, circular end of the chalk is flat on the sidewalk.
- Swivel the chalk around while holding it on the same spot to make a dot.
- If you were making a tree in a field as your scene, you'd start by making the tree trunk out of brown dots. Then you'd add the red and orange leaves from dots. You'd finish by filling in the entire field at the bottom of your scene with green dots and filling in the entire sky at the top half of your scene with blue dots.
If you like the look of sidewalk chalk stained glass art, but don't want to bother with tape, try a squiggle drawing.
- Use one color to draw a giant squiggly line that loops over itself all around one sidewalk square.
- Use different colors to color in the sections created where the line crosses over itself.
- Don't use the squiggly line color to fill in any of the sections.
- You'll end up with a stained glass look that features rounded lines instead of sharp angles and straight lines.
Blowing Away Designs
Use a few sidewalk squares to create a fun work of art that seems to be in motion. The idea here is you'll draw one big image on a square, like a tree, then add smaller images to the next few squares, like individual leaves, so it looks like the leaves are blowing away from the tree. You could also do a dandelion or a bubble wand with bubbles blowing away.
- Draw your large image on the sidewalk square farthest to the left or the right.
- On the square directly next to your large image, draw a lot of the little items.
- On the next squares, draw fewer little items each time and keep them in the top half of the squares.
If you want a cooperative art project, a whole-block sidewalk quilt is fun for everyone to work on together.
- Each person chooses one sidewalk square to start.
- Each person can fill their square with any patterns they want. These should be made from straight lines.
- If you have more squares than people, have each person color multiple squares.
- Make sure every square along one side of one block is covered to make a complete sidewalk quilt.
Punny Sidewalk Chalk Messages
Writing inspirational or funny messages on the sidewalk in chalk can make walks more fun for others in your neighborhood. Write and illustrate these sidewalk chalk puns and jokes to get people laughing as they walk.
- I got kicked off the board. (The chalk is on the sidewalk because it got kicked off the chalkboard.)
- If you walk the chalk, chalk the walk. (Invites those who have walked on your message to add their own.)
- You won't see this message again. (Use this when you know it's going to rain soon.)
Found Art Frames
Turn each sidewalk square into an individual found art frame.
- Draw a frame around the outer edge of an entire sidewalk square.
- The center of the square can be left empty or colored in with a solid color.
- Find unique and small natural items.
- Place one tiny item or an arrangement of items in the center of each frame to create fun found art.
Creative Sidewalk Chalk Games and Activities
You can create fun and safe outdoor games using nothing but chalk and your sidewalk. If you make these games and activities on the public sidewalk in front of your house or school, you can watch out your windows to see other people playing with them.
Chalk River Play Area
Forget the chalk road and draw a chalk river that connects to ponds, lakes, or even a giant ocean. Get out your boat toys and other water toys to play with on your new waterway.
Hidden Pictures Sidewalk Game
Create a fun hidden pictures game by drawing a bunch of different images on one sidewalk square. Choose about 3-5 individual images from your sidewalk square. On the sidewalk square directly above or below your image, draw each of these images separately. Add directions for those who walk by to find the images you've highlighted.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
It worked for Dorothy, and it can work for you. Make walkers feel special, like they're off to see The Wizard of Oz by creating your own yellow brick road. Make a winding path down the sidewalk using individually drawn yellow bricks. The windier the path, the better, as walkers attempt to stay only on the yellow bricks.
Create an interactive Scrabble game for your whole community right on the sidewalk. In the game of Scrabble, you basically try to add new words to the game board, but they have to connect to another word by using a shared letter.
- Write the title Sidewalk Scrabble on the sidewalk.
- Add simple instructions like "Can you connect a new word to the words you see on the next blocks?"
- Start the game by writing out the letters in your first word. You can surround each letter with a square like a real Scrabble tile if you want.
- Leave some chalk by the game so others can play.
- If you want to complete the game now with your family, take turns adding words until you run out of space.
Sidewalk Guest Book
Ask neighbors to say "Hello" by signing their name on an empty sidewalk square.
- At the end of your block, leave the instructions and an arrow pointing the direction you want others to walk.
- Leave some chalk by this first block.
- Sign your name on the next block with a fun picture of something you like.
- Check back daily to see who has visited your block.
You can ask simple trivia questions by leaving them on the sidewalk.
- In one sidewalk square, write your trivia question on the top half of the square.
- Under each question, write two answer options.
- Under each answer, draw a large square.
- Add directions on the next sidewalk square. Ask others to vote for the answer they think is correct by leaving a natural object like a flower or pebble in the square under their vote.
- After a few votes have been cast, circle the correct answer.
Chalk Bubble Pop
Draw bubbles of all different sizes along the sidewalk. Ask others to "pop" all the bubbles by hopping on one foot on each bubble. You can draw the bubbles in a pattern or randomly.
Choose Your Chalk Path
Create a simple puzzle maze for others by making them guess which path is the safe route to take.
- Draw two or three paths that lead across several sidewalk blocks. Each path can be a line, but each should be a different color.
- Make sure the paths cross over each other so it's harder to see where they lead.
- Only one path should lead to the last sidewalk square.
- You can draw funny things at the end of the other paths like a brick wall or alligator.
Sidewalk Dots and Squares
Play the classic paper game of dots and squares on the sidewalk.
- Draw a grid of dots on one sidewalk square. There should be an equal number of dots in each row and each column. The dots should be at least a couple inches apart.
- Take turns with another player.
- On a turn, you will draw one line that connects any two dots that are next to each other.
- If the line you draw completes a square, you write your first initial inside the square.
- The person with the most squares featuring their initial at the end is the winner.
Sidewalk Snakes and Ladders
Make a fun sidewalk obstacle course by drawing ladders and snakes.
- Alternate drawing snakes and ladders that start or end on a given sidewalk square.
- Ladders and snakes can be as tall or short as you want.
- Snakes should face backward, so the mouth is closest to you when you draw it.
- As you walk down the block, you can climb a ladder if you come to one and advance to the sidewalk square at the end.
- If you come to a snake, you have to slide back to the square its head is on.
You can set up a simple mancala game on the sidewalk by drawing two rows of six circles directly across from each other. You'll need to find sticks, pebbles, or other small natural items to use as the game pieces. Each person starts with the same number of pieces, from 12 to 48 depending on how big your circles are.
Sticks and Stones Game
Take tic-tac-toe to the next level by playing sticks and stones.
- Draw a standard tic-tac-toe board on one sidewalk square.
- Move over two sidewalk squares and draw a starting line.
- Each player gets five small sticks and five small stones to play with.
- On a turn, you can throw a stick or a stone.
- The goal is to get one stick and one stone in each of three squares that fall in a row.
Sidewalk Square Scavenger Hunt
Make walks more fun by creating scavenger hunt squares on the sidewalk. Choose one sidewalk square to write or draw one to three items a person can see while standing on that square. For example, you might say the number 22 (the address on one of the nearby houses you can see), a red star (the decoration on a house), and a black mailbox. Write different items on various squares.
Chalk Obstacle Course
Chalk obstacle courses are fun and easy to create. Choose a row of sidewalk squares and add directions or images that tell the player what to do at that point in the course.
- Start with a straight line to walk on one foot in front of the other like a tight rope.
- Then draw a series of three horizontal lines that are at least a foot apart for players to hop over using a bunny hop motion.
- Next, draw about five circles, each at least a foot from the last, for players to leap from by hopping on one foot from each circle to the next.
Run the Chalk Gauntlet
Another fun chalk obstacle course idea is to create a chalk gauntlet. In the olden days people would "run the gauntlet" to show skill, strength, and bravery. They were typically dodging moving parts that might knock them down. In this version, you'll make a sort of maze on the sidewalk.
- Write directions like "Try to stay on the uncolored patches of sidewalk and don't touch the grass or the colored parts or you'll have to start over."
- Color about three-quarters of the right side of the square so players have to shimmy along a small patch of sidewalk on the left.
- On the next square, draw a large hill shape coming from the left side of the square, leave a few inches and draw the same shape coming from the right side of the square. Players will have to weave between these.
- On the next square, write "Duck!"
- Continue adding more gauntlet challenges until you reach the end of the street.
Chalk it Up to a Great Time
Sidewalk chalk ideas never get old because they're easy and fun for anyone to create. If you can't get outside, you can recreate some of these activities using chalk on an indoor mini trampoline or on black construction paper. What clever chalk activity will you invent?