My kids consider any temperature above arctic to be perfect for playing outside and one of their favorite activities is to create epic masterpieces with sidewalk chalk on our driveway.
The days have been in the 50s and 60s around here and that means it’s chalk time.
The problem we run into is, even when we buy the big sticks of chalk, the kids run through the stuff after a couple of hours of drawing. We needed bigger chalk.
Solution? Make our own.
Not only do the kids end up with mondo chalk, they also get to “help” make the stuff. And by “help” I mean they get to watch and better not touch anything because I don’t want the stuff all over my kitchen. I can do that just fine on my own, thank you very much.
Let me say here, I’m a passionate lover of science but this is not, in any shape or form, a precise process. Trial and error, folks.
Luckily, you get to avoid some of your own errors since I made plenty of them for the both of us. You’re welcome.
What you’ll need to make your awesome sidewalk chalk:
- Toilet paper rolls
- Plaster of Paris–we got ours for like $4 at Walmart.
- Coloring of some sort. I picked up 4 little bottles of acrylic paint for $.97/bottle.
- Sandwich bags
- Mixing bowl
Steps to the magic:
- Put down some newspaper or something if you’re worried about getting stuff on your counters. We had some splatters and they cleaned up super easy so I wouldn’t get too obsessed over covering everything.
- Stick your sandwich bags in the toilet paper rolls and roll the edges of the bags over the edges of the toilet paper rolls.
- Add some water to your bowl. I’d start with about a cup.
- Dump in some plaster of paris.
- Mix with your whisk until you have all the lumps out. The consistency should be somewhere between pancake batter and thin oatmeal. I had a couple of batches where the mixture was thicker and the chalk ended up being pretty “gappy.”
- Add in your coloring until you get the amount of saturation you want. I added a lot of paint to some of them since I wanted deep colors.
- Pour your goop into the prepared tubes and tap them a couple of times to get out the air pockets.
- Let them sit for about an hour and then pull of the cardboard and slide the bags off.
- Sit the guys out on the counter overnight to give them a chance to dry all the way.