Hi Everyone - We are so excited to bring you a guest blog from a new friend - Hannah Murley from www.OwnTheYard.com!
As soon as the weather warms, kids are automatically geared for getting outside and letting loose of the winter blues. Chalk is an affordable, colorful, and magical tool of creativity for kids to use when playing outdoors is a priority. A child’s imagination is truly the limit when chalk is involved!
Here, we’ve gathered 10 of the most fun play ideas with chalk to entertain kids when Spring and Summer come around!
- Inventive Chalkboard Drawing
Kids naturally love to draw, and drawing is a wonderful way for children to let their inner worlds and realities come to colorful life. Kids often have indoor chalkboard options available to them but getting out in the sun to play is important for a child’s health – and that’s where outdoor chalkboards become useful.
Not only will children benefit from being out in the sun as they draw, but the outdoor chalkboards will also provide them with more doodling space than indoor drawing boards.
There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to outdoor chalkboards. If you’d like to know more, you can find helpful information in this Best Outdoor Chalkboards article.
Tic-Tac-Toe is said to have been played by people since the Roman Empire of the First Century. That means for thousands of years kids and adults alike have enjoyed this simple, but fun, game! Here’s how your kids can play!
- With your chalk, draw two horizontal lines, one below the other, with a few inches in the middle (or you can make a giant Tic-Tac-Toe game for your kids). Next, draw two vertical lines the same distance apart as the horizontal lines, through the horizontal lines.
How to Play:
- Have two players. One will be ‘X’ and the other will be ‘O’.
- Each child will take turns placing their letter in one of the squares on the grid.
When one person gets three X’s or O’s in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, they win! If neither player ‘X’ nor ‘O’ get three of their letters in a row, the game is tied and can be started again.
That’s it! A quick game to set up, and fun and easy for kids to spend time playing.
- Hop Scotch
It’s hard to imagine a school playground without children playing Hop Scotch. Hop Scotch is a game as old as time itself and can be enjoyed by children of virtually all ages (just as long as they’re old enough to hop). Here’s how your children can play!
Using your chalk, draw 7 squares in the following pattern:
- Start with a single square large enough for children’s feet to fit in (each side being about a foot) and label it #1.
- Draw two squares side by side on top of the first square and label them (from left to right) #2 and #3.
- Continue the pattern of one square followed by two side by side squares until you reach square #7. Square #7, the last square on the board, should be single.
How to Play:
- Standing outside of the Hop Scotch board, one child must start standing on one foot. On their one foot, the child should hop to the first single square.
- From there, the child will keep hopping until they reach the end of the board.
- When they reach two side by side squares (labeled in pairs #2, #3 and #5, #6), they must hop on both squares with both of their feet simultaneously. Alternatively, if there is only one square, the child may only hop on it with one foot.
Hop Scotch is a game that is sure to keep your little ones occupied for hours at a time! The game can also be expanded upon by creating more squares for a more challenging game.
- Four Square
Another school ground favorite, Four Square is a game played and beloved by children all over the world. It’s a great game that helps kids develop their coordination and healthily competitive spirits. The game consists of up to 4 players (and no less than 2). Here’s how your kids can play Four Square!
- With your chalk, draw a large square with each side measuring about 10 feet.
- Divide the large square into four equal smaller squares.
- Number the squares clockwise 1, 2, 3, and 4.
- Have a larger-sized, soft, bouncy ball (such as a dodgeball) available.
How to Play:
- Have one player stand in each of the squares.
- The player standing in square 1 is the server.
- The server will bounce the ball once in their square and then hit the ball onto the ground of one of the other player’s square.
- The ball must bounce once in a player’s square before it can be hit to another square.
- If a player hits the ball out of bounds, lets the ball bounce more than once in their square, or doesn’t let it bounce at all, they are out.
- When a person is out, they must leave the game area and the other players will rotate closer to the square 1 position.
A player wins if they stay in square 1 for the longest amount of time.
- Color Corners
Like Four Square, Color Corners is a game made up of one large square and four smaller squares. However, there is a slight difference in the game setup and how it’s played. Here’s how your kids can play!
This game requires three or more players.
- With your chalk, draw a large square (anywhere between 10-20 feet on each side).
- Inside the corners of the large square, create four smaller squares and color each square with a different color of chalk. For example, pink, blue, green, and yellow.
- Draw a circle in the center of the large square. It should be big enough for a child’s feet to fit in with enough space.
How to Play:
- One player will be the Counter. The Counter will stand in the middle of the circle placed inside the center of the square.
- When everyone is ready to play, the Counter will close their eyes and count aloud to 10. As they count, the remaining players will run around the outside of the large square.
- When the Counter reaches 10, all the players must get inside the smaller square of the corner they’re closest to.
- With their eyes still closed, the Counter will call out a color and whoever is standing in that colored corner is out!
The game will continue until there is one person standing. The last person standing, wins!
- Chalky Me
Another creative play idea, Chalky Me is a way for kids to bring their imaginations to life. The object of this activity is for kids to detail the outline of their body and come up with imaginative scenes.
For example, after a child’s outline is drawn on the concrete, the child would use variously colored chalk to draw clothing, a face, background details and so forth to give their bland outline a unique reality.
- Target Game
The target game is a great way to develop a child’s accuracy and practice their mathematical skills in the form of a fun outdoor activity!
For this game you’ll need:
- Bean bags
- A pen and notepad for score keeping
With your chalk, draw a four-circle target on the ground. Label from the outside circle in, 5, 10, 25, and 50 points. Give each child (2 or more) three bean bags.
How to Play:
- Have each child take turns throwing their three bean bags at the target.
- After each player has taken their turn throwing their bags, have the kids add up their points.
Whichever player has the most points after a round (or multiple rounds), wins!
- Quick Artist
Like many of the games on our list, Quick Artist encourages kids to cultivate their creativity. The object of the game is for kids to draw an object as quickly and intelligibly as possible within a certain time limit.
- With your chalk on the concrete, draw large square ‘canvases’ for each child that will be participating.
- Provide each player with one piece of chalk.
- Have a smartphone or timer on hand.
How to Play:
- Have an adult call out an object (animal, plant, building, etc.) for the kids to draw.
- Start the timer for roughly 20 seconds (this time can be shortened or lengthened depending on the age and capabilities of the children).
After the time is up, look at each of the drawings. Whichever player has the most complete image, wins!
- Connect the Dots
Connect the Dots is a simple activity that will pique the curiosity of children. Simply make an outline of a recognizable object using only spread-out dots and allow the kids to trace the outline with chalk to find out what the picture is!
Here are a few noncomplex drawing examples:
- Smiley face
- Stick figure family
- World Map
World Map is an activity that encourages kids to express their knowledge of world and local geography and landmarks. It begins with a wide scope view of the earth and ends with the view of their local city or neighborhood landmarks.
How to Play:
- Start off having each child draw their interpretation of the Earth from space.
- Next to their earth drawing, have them “zoom in” on the earth they drew and have them draw their country.
- Following, “zoom in” again and have them draw their interpretation of the state or territory they live in next to their country drawing.
- Finally, “zoom in” one last time and have them draw their neighborhood or city next to their state or territory drawing.
This game is not only a fun perspective for kids to play with, but it’s also a wonderful teaching tool if your child is just starting to learn about their neighborhoods, towns or cities.
One last idea... create a living wall! Here is a great article on how to do that from our friends at Happy DIY Home.
Using chalk is a wonderful way for kids to exercise their creativity and is a useful tool for outdoor play. If you’d like more game ideas for kids to play outdoors during the Spring and Summer, take a look at this 106 Backyard Games for Kids guide! We hope you enjoyed this post covering chalk play ideas, and don’t forget to browse the Walkie Chalk Shop for an all-around great chalk product! Happy playing!
Special Guest Author Bio:
Hannah Murley is a blogger and backyard enthusiast over at OwnTheYard.com. You can read more of her tips on Backyard Design, Backyard Games, and the best gear to use to make your outdoor space just the way you want it. You can also follow along with the OwnTheYard crew on Pinterest, here.