Best Sidewalk Chalk Paint For Kids Recipes – Easy Peasy!
What is a great creative activity to do outdoors when the summer weather allows it? Chalk painting! My daughter – who loves drawing and painting – is usually cooped inside. But, when I created it for the first time, I almost had to drag her back inside. Sidewalk chalk paint for kids is a fantastic resource to unleash their creativity outside.
Since discovering the concept, we have tried two different sidewalk chalk paint recipes. One has actual sidewalk chalk in it, and the other doesn’t. But the common denominators are water and corn starch. So quick and straightforward, I do not know why we had not done it before!
Please, do not think this is just for parents that have a lot of time on their hands. It truly is speedy, cheap, and easy to make. You probably have the ingredients in your kitchen right now, and you do not need more than 10 minutes to get a batch of 6-8 colors ready. Trust me. They’ll love it, and you’ll feel great playing with them or just stepping back and watching them get creative.
Reasons why chalk paint for kids is so great!
So why is it so great? I’ve listed my favorite reasons – hoping they will give you the final inspiration nudge to go for it.
- It invites them to be outside, so they are exposed to the sun and fresh air.
- Mess happens outside instead of inside (yay!)
- Creativity to its full potential – they are not limited by a piece of paper, and I’m not scared of splattering or making a mess.
- It’s an easy DIY home activity.
- Very cheap and quick to make – like really fast (less than 10 minutes)
- Easy to clean up afterward – if you do not want to wait for the rain, just hose some water with some pressure (preferably) or use some baby wipes and done!
- Children are also easy to clean afterward – use a baby wipe, water, soap, water on shoes, and just let dry and wipe off dry from clothes.
- It can be gluten and allergy-free – great for all kids that come for a playdate (check that none of the ingredients have traces and you are all good).
Where can you use chalk paints?
It is great for driveways, sidewalks, courts, patios at home or at the park. The darker the surface, the brighter the colors will be.
Chalk paint should not, but could, stain if the driveway or sidewalk is new and still very porous. To avoid any long-term casualty there, I highly suggest that you test it on a tiny area (preferably hidden) and see how it performs.
- First, try wet without actually letting it dry completely and see if it goes.
- Second, try letting it dry and see if it goes away.
- Finally, try increasing color dosage and see if it stains. (I went from 5 drops to 20 and am glad I did because it did not stain, and the color was so much vivid).
After your own experiment results, you can decide if you let the kids go wild with your homemade sidewalk chalk paint or if it is a non-welcome activity in your home. (I really hope your pavement passes the test because it is one of those kids’ crafts you’ll all love).
How to make chalk paint
We’ve tried two different recipes we’ve found on the internet. We’ll call them:
Chalk chalk paint (made with chalk) & Sidewalk chalk paint (made without chalk)
For both recipes, the common denominator is cornstarch and water. I recommend mixing those first two ingredients first and adding the ingredient with the color factor (the chalk or the food coloring). To mix them together, I recommend either a fork or a whisk.
I’ve experimented with both options and in different proportions of the ingredients, and these are my favorite results:
Chalk chalk paint
Ingredients for 1 color:
- 2tbs of cornstarch
- 2 tbs of water
- 2tbs of grated chalk *
*I would limit the grating to adults if you use a grater or scratch with a knife.
** A child-friendly option for them to help is putting it in a plastic bag and repeatedly hitting it with a rolling pin until the chalk has broken down to dust.
Sidewalk chalk paint
Ingredients for 1 color:
- 1 shot glass of cornstarch (1/8 cup)
- 1 shot glass of water (1/8 cup)
- 10-20 drops of food coloring (depending on the color)
Blue & Teal: 10 drops
Red & Green & Purple: 15 Drops
Yellow & Orange: 20 drops
This is the food coloring set we have at home which we love because they are Gluten Free.
A bulk alternative you might prefer would be to mix 1 cup water & 1 cup of cornstarch. Once mixed, split between tins, cups, or bowls, and then add the water food coloring to the mix.
Do I need a muffin tin?
I did not have a muffin tin, but it is a great way to create a chalk paint palette to work with.
I preferred to use separate cups because my children can create independently on something a bit farther away from one another if they decide to.
So once they are done, grab some paintbrushes and get ready to have some colorful fun outside!
What is your favourite chalk paint for kids recipe?
After playing with chalk paint for days, I must say my favorite option is the Sidewalk Chalk Paint with the food coloring. In my opinion, it is much faster to make (you do not need to grate chalks), and the colors are brighter. And both are easily cleanable, so that doesn’t make a difference with either recipe.
In case I didn’t have any food coloring at hand, then chalks are a great alternative. If you have leftover chunks of chalk that you do not want to throw away, it is a great way to use those little bits and not let them go to waste.
My chalk paint is very thin and liquid… is that ok?
Yes, the result is quite liquid, and once you paint with it, you might think it is too thin… but wait and let it dry… because if you’ve never done DIY sidewalk chalk paint, it will surprise you.
My first thought was that I had done it wrong because it was very thin (also, the colors I had used were not very vivid – orange and some yellow chalk – so that did not help), and it was very transparent. Therefore I went back to the kitchen to add more corn starch to the mixture… which made it very solid, and then I thinned it down again with water. Then, I went outside to test the second batch, and when I saw the first attempt dried, I was amazed.
After seeing that, I realized that I did not need more proportion of cornstarch, but instead, I did play with color quantities because I wanted more vivid results. My favorite recipes are the ones I shared before in this post.
Chalk paint kids playing activities that they will love
Of course, every one of these ideas can be done simply by painting with chalk, but there is something about using brushes outdoors that just makes everyone feel unique and out of the ordinary. They do look beautiful.
- Free-style painting
- Writing names & messages
- Long Jump
- Target practice
- Tic Tac Toe
- Treasure maps
- Activity course
- Giant board game: Checkers, chess or the Three Little Pigs
Cleaning up afterwards
It is really easy to clean! Water just makes it go away. You can wait for the rain (great for rainy countries), or you can hose it out. If your hose doesn’t have much pressure, just place your thumb at the end, which will do the trick.
Why do I say better with pressure? If you just get the chalk paint wet, the drawings will disappear, but the cornstarch will remain in the same place, and when it dries, the surface will be slightly white. So you want the cornstarch rolling away down the drain; this is why pressure helps. It keeps it moving.
If you make a mistake while writing or drawing, a Baby Wipe is great as an eraser! And you can also use it to clean up afterwards if you prefer not hosing afterwards.
And what about your kid? Well… this happened at home…
“Mommy!! Luca!!” (He was painting himself like Luca from the latest Disney film) 🙈. To be honest, he was so joyful and excited that I fought my inner impulses of keeping all things clean and tidy and just let him experiment and have fun (I even pitched in and helped him get all green 😉). He loved it. Once it was over, I took him directly to the bath.
The chalk paint goes away quickly from the skin, but the food coloring (depending on the color) can stain a bit, but some water and soap don’t clean after one or two washes. Pink, Yellow, Purple went away super fast. Green required a bit more scrubbing… But don’t worry, they won’t remain green forever! His hands were slightly tinted after the bath, but they were back to normal after rewashing them. All good!
Chalk paint for kids – creative fun for the whole family!
What a discovery this season. I’m sure many of you have already created it and played with it many times before. But for those new at this (like us), we hope all these tips and recipes will prove helpful and inspiring!
Chalk painting is excellent for toddlers. It is a mess that is easy to clean up after – so I highly recommend it for your little ones. If you would like to check out other toddler painting ideas, I hope this post can help you!
We can’t wait to create some more and let our imaginations fly.
Happy chalk painting!*