Spring is such a welcome time of year. Instead of shoveling sidewalks, for a play-of-the-date get out the chalk and let kids color on them. Adults can even join in the drawing and coloring fun.
Sidewalk chalk is very inexpensive and you can often find it at dollar stores. The jumbo sticks of chalk do not break quite as quickly as the thinner ones. Chalk sticks come in a variety of colors and they can be used over and over. Rain will wash the chalk off driveways, sidewalks, and skin but for clothing, play clothes are suggested.
How children play with sidewalk chalk will depend on their age and development. Young toddlers will quite likely draw lines and scribbles on the sidewalk. Older ones may draw animals, simple shapes, or favorite items. Flowers, rainbows, and the sun are common choices for spring, but children will have their own preferences.
The small muscles are still developing at this age so it’s easier for kids to draw on the big space of a sidewalk instead of just the small area on a piece of paper.
Drawing promotes the connecting of important pathways in the brain. Children are not just creating pictures on the sidewalk, they are also creating them in their minds. This is the skill of visualizing. As children draw, they are expressing themselves in another form, another sort of language. They are showing us how they interpret and represent the world.
Words are often linked to pictures as children tell us about their drawings. Using words and pictures together is part of the reading process. Kids are also practicing their attention and concentration skills. They are observing and noticing details.
Imagination and creativity are part of the play and it includes other kinds of learning too. Can drawing fun with chalk be part of your child’s play today?