Fun Summer Activities with Sidewalk Chalk
Summer... everyone looks forward to it. The kids are out of school, vacations are planned, and the sun has finally come out of hibernation. But no matter how much we look forward to it, boredom comes creeping up on us. Without all the extra work, school, and activities to do, summer can turn into one long hot day in the sun. The kids become glued to their video games, and their parents just want to sit beneath the air conditioning. Boredom and idleness inevitably follow. Don't let the heat get to you; enjoy your summer! No snow, no ice, and no worries... it's time to get outside and savor the beautiful sunshine.
Are you looking for some fun summer activities to do as a family? Perhaps you want to be together, but activities just seem to cost too much. The answer to your dilemma is sidewalk chalk. "That's just for kids," you might say, but think again. Sidewalk chalk is affordable and safe, and anyone can have fun using it! Whether you color the driveway with your family, enter a chalk competition, or participate in a festival (such as the Sidewalk Chalk Flood), sidewalk chalk is a fun way to celebrate the summer.
What Is Sidewalk Chalk?
Sidewalk chalk usually comes in easy-to-hold sticks in all the colors of the rainbow.It is made from a chemical called calcium sulfate, which is also used to make blackboard chalk and plaster of Paris.
Sidewalk Chalk World Records
According to Guinness World Records:
- Largest chalk painting by one artist was a reproduction of "The Last Supper", measured 34 feet by 17 feet 6 inches, and was created by Tracy Lee Stum in 2006.
- Largest chalk pavement art was 90,000 square feet, created by over 5,000 children participating in the Kids' Chalk Art Project in California in 2008.
- Longest chalk pavement art measured 18,372 feet 8 inches long and 6 feet 6 inches wide, created by over 5,000 students in Germany in 2009.
- Largest display of chalk pavement art was created at the Pasadena Chalk Festival in 2010, being made up of 171 drawings.
Once upon a time there was a little girl with terrible bangs, dirty knees, and a love for sidewalk chalk. She loved her chalk so much that she refused to share it with her friends. Chalk only lasts so long after all, and people don't know how to conserve it wisely. Unfortunately, the little girl's hoarding led on to rudeness, selfishness, and a lie. After what seemed like an eternity sitting inside with her guilt, the girl admitted she was wrong, apologized, and strove to share her sidewalk chalk in the future.
Years later, I've rediscovered my love of sidewalk chalk (much to the bewilderment of my friends), realizing that enjoyment of this art form is amplified the more people you do it with.
Activities for Home
Sidewalk chalk can turn an ordinary afternoon on its head. All you need is time and people to spend it with.
- Decorate your driveway or sidewalk with colorful artwork and murals.
- Trace silhouettes of your kids or friends in funny poses.
- Play hopscotch.
- Draw a four-square court to play on.
Host a Sidewalk Chalk Party
This is a fun idea for a children's party. Invite your kid's friends over for a sidewalk chalk party in your driveway. Another idea is to make it a community event or block party. Get all your neighbors together and have each one host a different chalk station. For instance, one station could be hopscotch, another could be long jump competitions, and another could be an art gallery. Be sure to provide refreshments such as lemonade and popsicles to cool off with.
Street Painting and 3-D Chalk Art
Remember Bert from the movie Mary Poppins? He painted beautiful pictures on the sidewalk that the children could actually jump into. Unfortunately, when the bleak London rain came, Bert had to revert to selling matches instead of art.
People like Bert actually exist. Their drawings might not be portals into a cartoon world where carousels come to life, but they can be truly beautiful and fascinating. It's a shame their art is only temporary. Street painters (also known as chalk artists and screevers) have been at work beautifying the world since the 1500s in Europe. Modern-day professional street painters include Julian Beever, Edgar Mueller, Melanie Stimmell, and Tracy Lee Stum. These professional chalk artists can create paintings and images that appear 3-D. It is amazing what a little chalk can do!
Sidewalk Chalk Flood
Some cities put together sidewalk chalk floods, in which the entire community gets together to literally paint the town. In 2009 and 2010, Rob Bliss (known for his urban experiments) put together a Sidewalk Chalk Flood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Des Moines, Iowa held a similar event in 2010, and they plan hosting another flood August 20, 2011. Tens of thousands of sticks of chalk are provided free to anyone who wants to join in the fun, and the result is an entire downtown covered in artwork. These are fun family-friendly events, and I think it would be great if more people would put sidewalk chalk floods together.
Chalk Art Competitions
A sidewalk chalk competition is another great way to get involved in the community. Even if you don't participate, attending can make for a fun family outing. Check with your local Parks & Recreation Center or search online to check if there's a chalk art competition in your town. Here are a few events coming up this year:
Sidewalk Chalk Festivals
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