Monday, July 16, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk Painting

This method has stolen my heart of late.  It's ridiculously easy, which is a huge boon for any mom, and yet so versatile. Who knew that adding just a touch of sugar to some water and soaking plain old sidewalk chalk would be so darn fun and unique?

The basic idea is this: soaking chalk in a sugar/water solution causes it to soften and become a medium much in line with pastel crayons that can be used on the driveway or on paper. My favorite part about this project was doing some drawing myself. I loved the smooth glide of the chalk across the page- I had total control as I would with a pencil, but was able to blend colors as I would with paint.

Here are the steps:

Add a few tablespoons of sugar to a dish. (I doubled the recipe, so my measurements were a bit larger.) This is not an exact science.
Next, add some water to the dish until it's full. Again- not an exact science. You're probably looking for a 1:4 ratio, for all those people who just have to know the numbers. Smile.
 Then take regular old chalk and soak it for a minimum of 10 minutes.
 When you first submerge the chalk you'll see some fizzing and bubbles. This is super duper fun for little eyes to watch or little hands to do.
 Once 10 minutes have passed,  give the kids some paper and let the kids go to town. The longer you soak your chalk the more paint-like it will become until eventually, it becomes a thick, pasty fingerpaint.

I can't tell you how much fun it was to discover what our "paint" would be like after each 10 minute interval. I suggest you begin with lots of chalk if your children are curious about the different consistencies of their art medium, and how that impacts their products, because we wound up making several batches of sugar/water and starting the process over a few times because in our zeal we used all the chalk within 20 minutes!
 The project is so hands on and user-friendly that even the 17-month old discovered that she could further manipulate the effects of her chalk by dipping her chalk into water before she drew on the paper.

 This was the consistency of our chalk after 20 minutes...
 ...and this was how it worked after 10.

Please give this a try and let me know if it got your creative juices flowing as it did mine!

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