Paint and Play with Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Paint and Play with Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

June 16, 2014




Outside play with chalk is classic summer fun. Kids of all ages love to draw, make up games, and play classics like hopscotch on the sidewalk. Rather than buy more chalk that will crumble and make a mess, let’s mix up a batch of colorful, homemade chalk paint!



Gather these ingredients and supplies:

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • food coloring
  • measuring cup
  • containers for the paint – little cups or a muffin tin
  • popsicle sticks for mixing
  • paint brushes or sponges


Our recipe for chalk paint calls for equal parts water and cornstarch. Look at your containers and determine how much will fit in them.  Not all containers will have their size on them, so talk it through with your kids. Pour in water from a measuring cup to determine the volume of your container.


Once you know the volume, you can determine how much cornstarch and water it can accommodate. We used ½ cup plastic containers, so the kids measured out a ¼ cup of cornstarch and ¼ cup water.

Mix the ingredients together and be sure that no clumps of cornstarch are left on the bottom. The mixture will resemble soupy white chalk. Add in food coloring for paint colors of your choice. This is a great time for a refresher on what colors combine to make purple (red and blue) and orange (yellow and red).

If your kiddos want to take their color palette and counting skills up a notch, McCormick suggests these combos for egg dyeing that you can try with your chalk .

  • Pretty Purple = 5 Red + 15 Blue
  • Orange Sunset = 17 Yellow + 3 Red
  • Teal = 5 Blue + 15 Green
  • Mint Green = 14 Green + 6 Yellow
  • Dusty Rose = 14 Red + 6 Blue


Notice how vibrant the colors get as the chalk paint dries.

Chalk Paint Play Ideas

Speed Drawing   Call out a topic and paint for a set amount of time. Who can paint the best robot, most colorful rainbow, or scariest tiger in a minute?

Treasure Hunt   Write a list filled with items to find around your yard such as 7 clovers, 2 dandelions, etc. Work as a group or break up into teams and paint circles for everyone to place the items in when found.

Memory Hop  Make a grid and fill it with shapes and/or numbers drawn in different colors. For example, fill one square with a yellow triangle and another with a blue circle. Call out one item (yellow triangle) and have the kids hop to that square in the grid. Now announce a second item (blue circle). Keep adding one new instruction and have your kids repeat the full sequence. Continue this until you crown a memory hop king that can complete the longest series.

While Frog Jumping Day may be over, that day’s game ideas are perfect all summer long. Think outside of the box and have fun. Be sure to check out The Very Dusty Dog and Chalk Art Gone Wild for more chalky Bedtime Math problems.

Photo courtesy of Beth Levine

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About the Author

Beth Levine

Beth is a mom of two young boys in the Capital Region area of New York. She blogs at and can be found on Twitter via @TheAngelForever. Beth is a lifelong learner and educator that is always looking for new and fun ways to get kids thinking.

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