Take your learning outside and try these fun sidewalk chalk games to play with kids.It’s almost summer! Whether you have kids in school who will be home all day starting soon, or, like me, you just still have the two same little hoodlums to entertain all day, today’s post will give you some fun ideas to make summer a blast.
There is something magical about sidewalk chalk. I don’t know if it’s having such a big canvas to draw on, or if it’s just the fact that it’s not paper and no one is yelling at them, but kids LOVE sidewalk chalk. I did, and my boys do, too. And judging by all the decorated driveways in my neighborhood, we’re not the only family that feel that way.
And while I’m totally supportive of free doodling and hopscotch, I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite more structured ways to play with sidewalk chalk. They’re all super simple, but they will keep you busy playing, learning, and developing motor skills all summer long.
Fun Sidewalk Chalk Games for Preschoolers
This is a great game for letter recognition and sequencing. Here’s what we do…I tell Little Man to run to a spot on the driveway and I draw the letter A. Then he runs to a new spot and I ask him what comes next. He tells me B, and I write it. We continue through the whole alphabet this way, writing all the letters all over the driveway. It’s great, because once all the letters are written, we go back to the beginning and run from letter to letter, saying the letters in order as we hunt for them. Super simple, but Little man loves to play it. It’s an easy game to modify to your child’s level, too. If your kids are younger, you can tell them the letters and just have them repeat what you say. If they are older, you invite your kids to write the letters themselves.
Little Man also added his own twist to the game, inspired by the book Curious George Learns the Alphabet. In the book, the man in the yellow hat teaches George each of the letters of the alphabet, but they stop after T to have George go get some doughnuts. He changes the note to read “ten dozen” instead of “one dozen” and gets in trouble with the man for his tricks. Little Man LOVES acting this out when we get to the letter T, and I love to see him making connections between the books we read and his own life.
This game is another simple game that can be played a variety of ways (I’m all about less prep, more play). using sidewalk chalk, write numbers 1-10 on the ground. I did it in a line, but you can mix it up and make it harder for kids by writing them out of order all over the place instead.
Once the numbers are in place, I start asking Little Man questions. We started with simple identification (“find the number 5”). He’d run to the number and stomp on it. Once he got this down, I made it harder, asking things like “How many feet do you have?” or “How many trees are in our yard?” I love that it’s a simple game that develops critical thinking skills as he has to think about the question, observe his surroundings, answer it in his mind, and then find the number on the ground.
Driving through the City
We went to the park a few weeks ago and saw a “city” that someone had drawn in sidewalk chalk. Little Man thought it was so cool, and he was bummed that we hadn’t brought any cars to drive on it. So, later that afternoon at home, we made our own. I drew the road, and then he helped me add a school, grocery store, airport, and houses. It led to some great pretend play!
Roller Coaster Ride
This is a fun way to practice balance and develop gross motor skills. I draw a line on the ground, making it twisty and loopy like a roller coaster. Little Man and I then “get on” the roller coaster and “ride” it by following the line all around the driveway until we reach the end. Sometimes we get really wild and put our hands in the air or scream when we go around the loops. It’s ridiculous…and fun.
This is a game I used to play in church as a child with pencil and paper, but it works great on a large scale with sidewalk chalk, too. One person draws a random doodle. The other person’s challenge, then, is to take that doodle and turn it into an identifiable picture. Right now, this works best for us if Little Man draws the doodle and I turn them into pictures. He thinks it’s funny to see what Mommy comes up with. As he gets older though, I’m excited to give him the challenge of creating a picture from the doodle.
Want more sidewalk chalk game ideas? Check out this list of more than 30 games and activities.
Do you have any fun ways of playing with sidewalk chalk? I’m always looking for more fun things to do with my little guys!