Kids, sidewalks, and chalk are a super combination for a summer fun activity that also includes learning and kindergarten readiness. And you never know how that chalk fun can grow. Did you know there are chalk festivals all over the world and that there are famous international chalk artists? There are the most amazing pictures, especially ones where the street becomes a huge canyon or waterfall or other illusion. These phenomenal artists probably started as young children drawing and coloring and just having fun with chalk.
As children play with chalk, they are using another way to express themselves, in addition to language. They can draw whatever they want and get to practice choosing and deciding. Kids are also practicing the names of colors and shapes. These require lots of experiences because colors may be similar but have different names; some oranges and reds are very close. Other colors are different but have the same name; olive green, celery green, moss green etc, all belong to green. Shapes are not as tricky but the names are harder, like rectangle and triangle. Figuring out colors and shapes builds thinking skills and brain connections.
Children’s drawings often contain fairly recognizable objects. When kids draw a round yellow circle with lines going out, they understand this picture has meaning and it means the sun. Reading is another example of squiggles and shapes and lines that have meaning, but it’s much harder to figure out letter codes than picture codes. However, kids start with this basic concept that pictures are meaningful.
Sidewalk art lasts for a few days, or less if it rains. Kids are also learning that often fun is in the doing, not the having. Grownups sometimes need to be reminded about this too. For a fun summer activity today, can your child create some sidewalk art with chalk?