I can't remember when I found the pin for Domestic Charm's liquid sidewalk chalk, but as we created our summer bucket list, I knew I'd have to include this neat activity. After all, I love artsy kid projects and anything that encourages creativity. Even though summer ended before we had time to finish our bucket list, I have kept it in hopes to eventually get through it before Christmas at least.
Since it was just my two-year-old daughter helping me with this activity, I decided to reduce the ingredients by half.
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- food coloring (liquid or gel)
- 4 disposable cups
- stirring sticks/spoons
- 4 paint brushes
After mixing the water with the cornstarch, you have to stir for a long time. It's not easy to stir either as the corn starch creates more of a gooey paste that settles at the bottom, but once you get everything mixed up well, pour it into four cups. Then add in your food coloring. Just to experiment, we used 15 drops of blue and 15 drops of yellow. For the red and green, we used the gel food coloring. As you can see in the picture, both work well, so I wouldn't go out and buy anything special. Just use what you keep on hand, and keep stirring! My daughter wanted to help stir, so I let her. Oops! Just be sure to hold onto the cup if your child helps stir. This is a sticky mess to wipe up. It was the consistency of school glue at this point, but it wiped up without staining the table. The wash cloth may be another story, so you may want to have a few old rags on hand.
Once we had our paints ready, my daughter and I headed outside to the driveway.
I must admit; at first, I called this activity a flop. My daughter was having fun dipping the paint brush in the cups I gave her, but as we went to paint, we just got either puffy clumps or super pail chalky streaks. I couldn't paint an actual picture though I tried to make a rainbow. Meanwhile, my daughter stayed happy and busy painting her abstract art even when she spilled a little. That's when I realized I could have fun with this by creating splatter art. Instead of brushing strokes, I started to sling and drizzle. Now that was fun! We ended up painting for almost 30 minutes despite the heat. Afterward, I was able to wash out the paint brushes easily and toss the cups. Meanwhile, our artwork has remained prominently displayed on our driveway for several days. I hoping it'll wash off with rain. What paint we got on ourselves washed off by bedtime, so despite it seeming like it would be a messy activity, it wasn't too bad.
- It uses every day household items.
- It gives you a chance to teach primary colors
- to toddlers/preschoolers and secondary colors to preschoolers/kinder kids.
- It allows toddlers/preschoolers to practice fine motor skills both in mixing up the paints and in painting.
- It can help teach some science to preschoolers and school-aged kids as you let them make predictions while mixing the two ingredients and while painting/splattering it on the ground.
- It allows more teaching opportunities with texture. Feel the paint in the cup; feel the glops of it you splatter; feel the chalky streaks of it you paint.
- It's simple outdoor fun.
- It can be a disapointment for kids who want to actually paint a picture. I couldn't even get shapes or write letters with it.
- Doing the activity with one adult and one toddler can be a challenge as the toddler will inevitably want to help and will then inevetably make a mess both while mixing and painting.
Since I didn't have to buy anything for this activity, it was free. If you need to buy brushes, stick with cheap ones, so the maximum the activity would run you is a couple dollars if you had to buy everything.
I'm linking up at these parties!