Sunday, August 5, 2012

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk

If your kids are like mine- they love going outside and covering the sidewalk with expressive art, chalk outlines of any kid or object within reach, impromptu tic-tac-toe games and elaborate hopscotch obstacle courses. They could probably go through a bucket of sidewalk chalk a week if it weren't so hot outside we have to limit time outside to under an hour sometimes. Here is a great indoor activity to make some outdoor chalk. This helps you know what's in your chalk, gives the kids a chance to learn some quick science, and hopefully puts some pennies back in your wallet. It takes a couple of hours from the start of getting out your materials to the chalk being ready to go and your area cleaned up so save one of those blistering hot afternoons for some great indoor fun. Use toilet paper tubes, those waxy bathroom cups, or even some old ice cube trays to make your own sidewalk chalk! (Pictures soon!)

Sidewalk Chalk (Recipe #1)
2 cups water 
2 cups plaster of paris 
2 tablespoons tempera paint (wet or dry)
Toilet paper tubes with duct tape over one end 

Place tubes on cookie sheet lined with foil or wax paper.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Let stand a few minutes. 
Pour mixture into holders, let stand until semi-firm. 
Remove holders and let dry completely—ready to use in 
about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
(My tip for the wise and half-asleep—never ever never pour that extra plaster down the sink.) 

Sidewalk Chalk # 2 (Makes a little less)
1 cup plaster of paris 
½ cup water 
2 tablespoons powdered tempera paint 
Four 5-oz. waxed paper cups or one ice cube tray 
In a plastic bowl, mix together the plaster of paris and 
the powdered tempera paint. Using a plastic spoon, 
slowly stir in the water until the mixture is smooth. Half-fill each of the paper cups  or the ice-cube tray sections. 
Allow the mixture to harden for one hour. Peel away the 
cups or pop the chalks out of the ice-cube tray. 

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