A big bucket of sidewalk chalk is a great excuse to get outside and be creative with your toddler. Even the long-lasting 52-count box of Crayola Chalk is an inexpensive and safe way to get your little one playing creatively, and the cleanup is simple (wait for it to rain, or grab the hose.)
We used crayons, markers, and paintbrushes early on with our son, but the big thick sidewalk chalk was the easiest for him to hold. By 10 months, he was already trying to draw circles and triangles with us, and our creative life was in full swing.
Here are just a few of the chalk activities you can do with you toddler:
- Numbers – Writing big numbers all in a row are a great way to get your little one running AND counting. Have her say the numbers as she walks down the row, or call out a number for her to find.
- Shapes – Draw each of the shapes (square, circle, triangle, etc.), making them large enough for him to stand in. Call out a shape and have him find it. You can also make each shape a different color to crank the learning up a notch.
- More Shapes – Find two areas far apart, and draw a set of small shapes (6″ each) in the first. In the second, draw a large set of each shape (3′ each). Show her a small shape (the circle for example), and then have her find the big one.
- Places – Draw the places you visit around the driveway, spread out like in real life. The park, grocery store, playground, post office, mall, and toy store can be just as fun to visit in your own driveway.
- Outlines – Body outlines are fun as he gets older, but you can start with hands and feet. Do theirs, then the rest of the family’s as a good lesson in size.
- Data – Draw important numbers and names to reinforce character recognition. It’s never too late to begin teaching things like names, addresses, phone numbers, 911, and birthdays.
- Characters – Replicating personalities from videos may not teach your toddler a lot (though, you could probably use the drawing practice), but she will enjoy talking about them. This is a good way to jump-start her imagination with some familiar content.
The possibilities are limited only by your creativity, so drop the six bucks today and give it a shot. I imagine the games will get more complex as time goes on, but for now the simple ones are effective – and I bet your toddler will love them as much as ours.