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 they get to draw on something other than paper (and NOT get in trouble for it), 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, there are also so many fun ways to use sidewalk chalk for more structured forms of creative play and learning.
Here are some of our favorites! 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. To play, 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 my kids have been loving this game for years!
To modify for younger kids, you can tell them the letters and just have them repeat what you say. If they are older, invite your kids to write the letters themselves.
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.
Squirt the Letter
The basic idea of this outdoor alphabet game is that you write letters on the ground in a random order. (For more advanced kids, you can write the whole alphabet. If you’re playing with beginners, just write 6-8 letters at a time.) Once the letters are on the ground, hand your child a spray bottle and ask them, “Can you squirt the letter A to make it disappear?” Get the full details of this activity HERE.
Trace each other with chalk, and then fill in your own outline with whatever best represents YOU! You can try to make it realistic, or get wacky and create a more imaginative version of yourself! You might be surprised at how much you learn about your child and how they view themselves.
Giant Board Game
Make a life-size board game on the ground (think Candy Land). You can keep it basic, and just roll a dice to move forward spaces until you get to the end….OR get the kids involved in adding some fun twists and turns. Try adding a short cut path, a sticky swamp (lose a turn), or an angry hippo that chases you back a few spaces. See where your imaginations take you!
Make a Human Sundial
This fun and simple experiment will help kids understand how shadows are made and encourage them to experiment with light and shadow! All you need is a sunny day, a wide open space, and some sidewalk chalk. Read the full instructions for making a human sundial HERE.
Draw a bullseye target on the ground (like a simple dartboard). Invite kids to toss bean bags or wet sponges at the target, and see how close they can get to the middle. Super simple, but lots of fun!
Practice your Phone Number
Do your kids have their phone number memorized yet? This is a critical safety skill, so let’s make it fun to learn! Make a giant phone keypad on the ground and encourage your child to stomp the numbers in the right order to “dial” your phone number. Almost like hopscotch, but with a much more practical purpose! Read the full post about this and five more ways to help kids memorize their phone number HERE.
Want more sidewalk chalk games to play? Try these classics!
- four square
- tic tac toe
- the dot game
- four corners
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!