No matter where you live, the arrival of warmer days usually means more time spent outside. The great outdoors are a beautiful backdrop for activities of all kinds, from picnics in the park to pitching a tent at your favorite camping spot and even going on a nature themed scavenger hunt in your very own backyard! When it comes to simple yet enriching activities that will get the kids out in the sunshine and encourage creativity and play, DIY sidewalk chalk is a surprisingly easy and engaging option for kids of all ages. Why not just use store-bought, you ask? While you may be tempted to buy rather than make, the act of mixing up the ingredients for this homemade sidewalk chalk is half the fun! It makes for an activity that kids can take pride in. And like with anything homemade, DIY sidewalk chalk can be a lovely gift for a fellow parent, a teacher, or anyone with a creative streak.
Egg-shaped DIY sidewalk chalk
The first step to creating homemade sidewalk chalk is deciding how many colors and pieces of chalk you'd like to make: the amount of each "ingredient" (plaster of Paris, tempera paint, and water) and the mold(s) you'll use are completely up to you! You can get really creative with sidewalk chalk shapes: try using a silicone mold or upcycle items around your house. In order to achieve an egg shape, use empty, washed Nellie's Free Range Egg shells or plastic Easter eggs. The result? Super pigmented pieces of sidewalk chalk that are easy for small hands to grasp.
Once your chalk has dried, use empty 100% recycled Nellie's Free Range Egg cartons to store each piece. If you're giving the sidewalk chalk as a gift, it's easy to turn the egg container into an adorable gift box by painting the exterior or covering it with patterned scrapbook paper and a gift tag.
- Plaster of Paris
- Washable, non-toxic tempera paint
- Reusable spoons and bowls used for crafting only
- Silicone molds, plastic Easter eggs, or emptied and cleaned Nellie's Free Range Egg shells
- Empty and cleaned Nellie's Free Range Egg carton
- Measure 2/3 cup Plaster of Paris into one bowl for each piece of sidewalk chalk you'd like to make.
- Add 1/3 cup water and about 4 tablespoons of tempera paint to each bowl, mixing with a spoon and adding more paint and water as needed until desired color and the texture of pancake batter is achieved. Tip: neon paint works best for a rich, pigmented chalk.
- Pour each chalk mixture into its own mold. Use a toothpick to stir the mixture in the mold to remove air bubbles. Tap the mold gently on a flat surface, then let dry in a cool place.
- Dry time will depend on the type and shape of the mold you choose. A silicone mold requires at least 3 hours of dry time because of the amount of air reaching the chalk surface. If using a plastic egg or egg shell, plan to let it dry for around 24 hours. However, you can reduce dry time by placing your chalk mixture outside on a sunny day.
- After the chalk has dried, remove it from your chalk mold of choice. If using an egg shell, tap the shell gently and peel it just like you would peel a hard-boiled egg.
Did you create your own egg-shaped DIY sidewalk chalk? Tag your photos with #nelliesfreerange so we can see! Or click here to see our other fun afternoon activities you can enjoy with the kids. And don't forget to check out Five Marigolds for more inspiration.