Outdoor family fun: Make yer own sidewalk paint!

In years to come, they’ll talk about 2010 as the year that Easter fell in mid-summer. Yesterday, Ottawa was the warmest place in Canada with a high temp of 27C — that’s around 85F and the same temp as Miami, Florida!

Even without the extraordinary temperatures, I get excited when the winter finally breaks for spring. I’m inordinately delighted to see the toboggans and mittens replaced with skipping ropes and fooz-ball sets. In this warmer-than-average spring, we’ve already long since broken out the sidewalk chalk and bubbles, so I was looking for something fun to enjoy the lovely day. After lingering longingly over the (rather expensive) Crayola sets in the store, we decided to make my our sidewalk chalk paint!

Sidewalk chalk 6

It’s crazy easy: just stir together equal parts corn starch and water, and a couple drops of food colouring. We had to crank up the corn starch in our first batch because it came out too runny, but our second batch turned out perfectly! It looks a little watery when you paint it out, but as the water evaporates the colours become more vivid.

Sidewalk chalk 5

We tried regular brushes, but they were a little bit too small for the job. We found that the square foam brushes you use to paint household trim worked much better! We started out painting the driveway, and quickly moved on to bricks, garden fixtures and even the lamp post. And then, rather predictably, things disintegrated into a spatter-fest that would make Jackson Pollack proud.

Sidewalk chalk 1

We used about a half a box of corn starch and maybe a dozen drops of food colouring — that’s a full evening of creative, outdoor entertainment for less than $2. Oh, and did I mention? It washes out cleanly in water!

Sidewalk chalk 2

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

13 thoughts on “Outdoor family fun: Make yer own sidewalk paint!”

  1. awesome, i never would have thought to make my own! def doing that next weekend.

    we took advantage of the great weather by being outside every day, the boy got to ride his new (big boy!) bike, and many popscicles were consumed 🙂

  2. We tried this yesterday afternoon and it was great! Thanks for the tip from Alta Vista!

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