If there is one thing my kids look forward to every summer it is this – our annual trip to Target to buy a brand new box of sidewalk chalk, the biggest we can find. My 12-year-old was absolutely giddy this year when we discovered that Crayola had added glitter chalk (glitter chalk!) to their boxes. So much so that, much to the amusement of the other shoppers around us, she did a little happy dance right there in the store. No joke, chalk is gold around here. Why? Because, while it is great for doodling on a patch of pavement, there are so many more ways to have fun with a few pieces of chalk.
Revisit the classics.
- Draw a hopscotch board. This one is definitely an oldie, but still one which our kids love to play. Make the squares huge for a fun spin on this tried and true game and see who can make it through.
- Play a game of 4 Square. Another classic game that is super easy to recreate on your driveway with a piece of chalk and a bouncy ball.
- Challenge your kids to a game of Skee Ball. My kids have never played this game as it was originally created, however they frequently make their own skee ball track on our driveway. Roll a ball and rack up the points. Sloped driveway make this one difficult? Toss the ball instead and tally your score from where it first hits the ground.
Bring your indoor games outdoors.
- Pictionary Use the cards from the board game if you have them, or make some of your own. It’s also fun to come up with a theme (ie. our favorite movies) and draw the first thing that comes to mind.
- Candyland Turn your driveway into a giant game board and race each other to the Candy Castle at the end of the rainbow trail. Colored squares of paper in a bucket or bag make a great substitute for the game cards.
- Hangman This one is great for those super hot days when you need the fresh air but don’t feel much like moving. We like categories for this one too, as it helps the younger ones participate in the guessing.
- Tic Tac Toe Another good one for a hot day. Find a shady spot and challenge each other to a game or two. For a fun twist, think beyond the x’s and o’s. Robots versus butterflies. Race cars versus unicorns. The more creative the idea, the more fun the game can be.
Get them moving.
- Keep score for their favorite outdoor game. The driveway makes a great scoreboard, and prevents those heated disputes over who actually won.
- Have a long jump contest. Who can jump the farthest? Can you beat your own best jump? Mark your landing spot and go for the gold.
- Send them off on a crazy race. Turn your driveway into a crazy race track. Mark spots along the way with a “challenge” to complete before they can pass by. Have a stop for jumping jacks, pause to hop on one foot, and jog backwards across the finish line.
- Set up an obstacle course. The possibilities are pretty endless here. Ride a scooter from line 1 to line 2. Bounce a ball 3 times inside a circle. Use your imagination (and your chalk!) to run your kids here, there and back again.
- Design a giant maze. Twists and turns and tons of fun. My kiddos love putting this one together, and love racing through it even more.
- Make a road. If your driveway is big enough, you can make “roads” for your kids to trike, bike, and scoot on. But don’t forget stop signs, especially if you have multiple drivers!
- Create a town for toy cars. This is a great option if your driveway isn’t quite big enough for kid-sized roads. My son loves bringing his toy cars outside and drawing sprawling towns for them to speed through.
- Turn your driveway into a giant work of art. Create a colorful rainforest, a magical fairy realm, or flashback to the age of the dinosaurs. With a canvas this big, the possibilities are endless.
- Use themselves for inspiration. Have your kids draw self portraits, then draw pictures of each other.
Sneak in a little learning.
- How big is it? This idea started in home school, but the kids had so much fun with it, we have done it again and again. How big is a blue whale? Measure it out, mark it with chalk, and then draw a life size replica.
- Get in a some letter/number practice. Have your kiddos write and then decorate their name, or the numbers 1 to 10. Or, better yet, make it into a game – scatter the letters across the driveway. Shout out one at random and everyone races to find it. Substitute numbers for letters, and you’ve got a super fun way to practice those dreaded math facts.
Add water and double the fun.
- Blast those bugs! Draw some big, bad bugs (or robots or dinosaurs) and take aim with a squirt gun or hose. My kids
have a blast making the bugs disappear, and I love that they are squirting something other than each other for a change.
- Get in a little target practice. See who can shoot their water closest to the center. Try drawing your targets larger or smaller, or shooting from close up or far away. Our kids like to mark their “hits” with chalk and then try to top their own score.
With all these options, you just might find a new favorite among them. So dig out a stick or two of your own, and add a little color to your driveway!