Friday, August 8, 2014

Sidewalk Painting!

Summertime means lots of outdoor, often messy, fun when you have a toddler! Yesterday we tried a DIY idea that I have seen floating around Pinterest lately: sidewalk chalk paint. It's not an original idea by any means, but it was a success (as measured by Jacob's excitement!), so I want to share :)

Jacob LOVES to "do projects," which means to do anything that he sees Mommy & Daddy (especially Daddy) doing around the house. Painting is one of those things; we've painted several items lately, and he was SO excited to paint!

First, you need to make your chalk paint. There are many tutorials online for this (I like this one), but it's super easy. Basically, take some old sidewalk chalk, crush it up into a powder, add water, and stir. That's it. Chalk paint! They do sell chalk paint powder in containers resembling paint cans, but it's so easy and cheap to make it yourself, especially if you already have old, broken chalk pieces; I decided to save a few bucks on the paint and get Jacob some other supplies.

I will say that I didn't do the best job crushing it into a fine powder (I put the chalk in a plastic bag and pounded it with a meat tenderizer mallet -- a hammer might be better). Tiny lumps aren't a big deal, but our paint was a bit lumpier than I would have liked. Jacob didn't notice, though!

All ready to get started! I picked up the mini paint pan, brush, and set of textured rollers at Walmart for about $3.50 total, so that he could feel like a real painter! The pan and brush were with the painting supplies, and the rollers were in the kids' art supply aisle. I already had the little stencil sponge brush, which turned out to be perfect for making polka dots!
helping to stir the paint 
...and he's off! The textured rollers were really fun; he loved making "tracks."
You could always just use a plastic bowl and regular art brushes for this, but the paint pan and rollers were a huge hit with him because he felt like a grown up -- I highly recommend some "real" painting tools :) Later, after I washed everything, he used the dry rollers to "paint" the siding and windows of the house," so they were great for pretend, too! Additionally, you could put plain water in the paint pan and let kids "paint" with water. I plan to try this sometime when we don't have the time or energy for the chalk mess, as I imagine the textured sponge rollers will still make tracks with plain water.
"Stamping dots" was really fun.
"Look mom, blue hands!" Of course he had to paint himself, too ;) 
This activity was a bit messier than I expected (although I was naive to expect anything different with this boy!), so it may be smart to have your kids wear old clothes and washable shoes or bare feet ;) The good news is that chalk washes off pretty easily!

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