linky do's!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

homemade sidewalk chalk

over the holidays the boy and i made homemade sidewalk chalk.

last year martha stewart made chalk from this recipe with brendan fraser.  i was so excited to make chalk with the boy and promptly bookmarked the page.  it took months to gather the materials - apparently it's hard to find plaster of paris.  and cheap tempera paints.  we didn't get the make the chalk last summer between illness and the heat and the increasing activity of the kiddos.

i noticed that the boy was getting low in his chalk supply (i bought it from the dollar bins at target over the years) and decided it was a good time to finally make the chalk.  so on july 4th, while hubby was home to supervise the kiddos, the boy and i set out to make our own chalk.  well, i mostly made it, with some of hubby's help.  the boy was more interested in watching suite life.

i collected many toilet paper and paper towel tubes (those i cut in half).  i had about a dozen tubes, and decided to make twice as much chalk.

instead of yogurt cups, i used plastic picnic cups.  first i put a few squirts of paint in the cups (i had red, yellow and blue, and decided to mix and make green, orange and purple too).  next i added a cup of water to each cup.

then i spooned in plaster of paris (i didn't have a measuring cup to donate to the cause).  about 12 heaping spoonfuls went into each cup.  hubby helped out by stirring the plaster so it wouldn't harden.

i took each tube (duct taped on the bottom, with freezer paper on the inside of each tube) and spooned the mixture into each tube.  by the time i got to the bottom of each cup, the mixture started to harden and it was a bit goopy to put in the tube.  by the time we got to the blue mixture, it was nearly hardened, so we decided to leave it go - it would just be a big blue chalk.

the tubes sat for over an hour, and then i moved them outside.

i removed the cardboard tubes and laid the chalk on a piece of newspaper to dry overnight.  they were pretty damp, but hard.

the next day we picked the chalk off the paper and put them in a bucket.  the chalks that were made from "bottom of the cup" mixture were pretty fragile and some split when we picked them up.  the boy picked up the big blue chunk and drew away.

in hindsight i would use dixie cups instead of paper tubes to make the chalks.  the recipe also suggested making the chalks with silicone ice cube trays, and that would be a fun thing to try too.  i'm not sure what's better - the costs of the materials plus the work or if it's just easier to pick up a bucket of chalk at the local dollar store.

i think the boy has more fun making chalk footprints.

at any rate, making sidewalk chalk is a fun activity to do with your kids!

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