Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

I've been working with elementary-aged kids for over five and a half years now, and one of my favorite parts of my job is being able to do creative projects with them. I have seen kids bloom through art projects and I love to connect with them on that creative level! I don't believe in micromanaging their art to get a specific outcome - so most of my projects are based on giving them a fun new way to create and then getting out of their way. I thought I'd start sharing some of those projects here with you. Many of them are messy, none of the products from these projects will look alike, and all of them will get kids creating in whatever way is right for them!

This art project is one that I've done with the kids for a long time. Its a great lazy summer day activity, and one that the kids absolutely love. To make your own sidewalk chalk paint, simply mix together equal parts cornstarch and water in a cup, then add food coloring. Stir together with a paintbrush, and then get painting!

One thing that I love about this project is that it engages kids on a lot of different levels. Super artsy kids can go to town creating their own masterpieces, and very social kids can work together with their friends. One boy I work with who loves to push boundaries and can be a real behavior issue at times spent the entire activity sitting near the food coloring, adding a drop at a time into his cup of paint and watching the colors change. It was great to be able to give him the space to experiment on his own. 

 I do let the kids have free access to all of the supplies for this project. I teach some basic color mixing (red + yellow = orange, etc) and assist kids who ask for help, but I think it's good for them to be able to experiment and interact with the supplies independently. So many times, the art projects they do in school require tracers and  have specific rules about what they can and can't make. There's value to learning how to follow directions, but I believe there's also value in having space to experiment and create on their own.

Have fun making this and painting the town with the kids in your life! 

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