10 Great Outdoor Activities for Kids Using Sidewalk Chalk

In the Covid-19 pandemic, schools are closed, and children continue their education at home using distance learning.  From a safety standpoint, this makes perfect sense; from a sanity standpoint, most parents are searching for fun, safe, activities for their kids to do while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.  Listed below are some great outdoor activities for kids using sidewalk chalk. You can also check out our guide about line markers for games using chalk.

Chalk Art

While this is the most obvious use of sidewalk chalk, with many residents still at home your child’s fun activity will not only get them out of the house and enjoy a fun activity, they will create beautiful art the entire neighborhood can enjoy.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun game that began as a training exercise for Roman soldiers that was adopted by Roman children and spread throughout Europe.  To play hopscotch, you will need sidewalk chalk and markers for each player, which can be rocks, buttons, or shells, etc.  Players will use the sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground that includes at least eight numbered sections.

How to Play

  • Each player selects their marker.
  • The first player stands at the starting line and throws their marker into square 1 and proceeds to hop over square 1 and then hop into each of the next squares until the end where they will turn around and hop back again, pausing in square 2 to pick up their marker.  The first player will then jump into square 1 and then out.
  • Each additional player will do the same as payer 1.
  • Each player will continue the same process by throwing their marker into square 2, 3,4, etc.
  • *All hopping is to be done on one foot unless there are two squares side-by-side

Getting Marked Out with Sidewalk Chalk

  • The player’s marker does not land in the proper square.
  • Player steps on a line
  • The player loses balance and places a second foot or hand down
  • Player lands in a square where the marker is
  • A player puts two feet down in a single box.

Marbles

Considered to be one of the oldest games, marbles were played by many ancient civilizations, including the Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Native American Tribes.  The first marbles were created from stones, clay, glass, and some Romans played using nuts.  Today marbles are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at many stores.  To play marbles, you will need a bag of marbles, at least one shooter marble (a marble that is larger than the other marbles), sidewalk chalk.

How to Play

  • Use sidewalk chalk to draw a circle on the ground as large as you want, typically from 3-10 feet in diameter.  The bigger the circle, the harder the game will be.
  • Scatter the regular size marbles into the circle; you can choose to do so randomly or create patterns.
  • Decide the order in which players will shoot.
  • Each player will first shoot from outside the circle (after a player first turn, they will leave the shooter in the circle)
  • If a player hits a marble out of the circle, then they set it aside and count it as 1 point.
  • On their second turn, players will shoot from inside the circle where their shooter landed; if their shooter landed outside the circle, then they can shoot from anywhere outside the circle.
  • Players can choose to knock another player “shooter “outside of the circle, making it harder for them.
  • Once all marbles have been shot outside the circle, then the player with the most marbles wins.

Chalk Constellations

For a fun and engaging way to teach children about astronomy and the constellations, you can draw chalk constellations.  All that is required for chalk constellations is sidewalk chalk and rocks.

How to Play

  • First, either read a book on astronomy and constellations with your kids or look up on the internet, so they understand about astronomy and some of the more commonly recognized constellations.
  • Take the fun outside, and using sidewalk chalk and rocks recreate the different constellations you learned about.
  • To add to the fun, you can also create your own constellation book by taking photos of your sidewalk chalk constellations and creating pages with facts about the constellations you drew outside. 
  • * For even more fun, you can pretend to be astronomers and create your own constellations!

Hangman

While many people play hangman inside on a piece of paper, you can easily bring the game outside and make it eco-friendly by using sidewalk chalk instead of wasting paper. To play, you will need sidewalk chalk and at least from 2-4 players.

How to Play

  • Player 1 will draw the traditional hangman board and choose what the other player or players will guess by drawing a series of dashes that are equal to the number of letters in the word or phrase.
  • A player will then guess a letter, and if they are correct, player 1 will place the correct letter on the corresponding dashes.  If a player guesses a wrong letter, then it is drawn by the hangman’s gallows, and an element of the hangman is drawn.
  • The game continues until either the right word or phrase is guessed, or the hangman character is completely drawn.
  • * To make the game fun and exciting you can choose a popular theme like Harry Potter, Star Wars, SpongeBob, or Disney Movies.

Tic Tac Toe

Much like hangman, tic tac toe is traditionally an indoor game that is played using paper, but this is wasteful, and you can take the fun outdoors in the fresh air by using sidewalk chalk instead.  To play, you will need 2 players and sidewalk chalk.

How to Play

  • Using sidewalk chalk, draw a grid that is 3 squares by 3 squares (for a total of 9 squares).
  • Players will choose who is “X” and who is “O.”
  • Each player takes a turn placing their X or O in a square to complete three marks in a row (up, down, or diagonally).
  • The game is over when either a player correctly gets three marks in a row, or when all 9 squares are filled making it a draw

Hit the Target

Hit the Target is a fun game to play outside, and you only need sidewalk chalk and markers in the form of stones, chalk, buttons, etc.  You can decide how many players there will be and what the winning score will be.

How to Play

  • Using different colors of sidewalk chalk, players will draw concentric circles (the number of circles is up the players) with a bullseye in the middle.
  • Each circle will have a point value drawn in chalk, with the highest value being the bullseye.
  • Decide what the winning point total will be.
  • Each player will take turns tossing their marker and trying to land on the highest point value.
  • The game is over when the first player reaches the winning point value.

Chalk Mini Golf

For hours of outdoor fun, you can create your very own mini-golf course using sidewalk chalk.  To play, you will need sidewalk chalk, a golf club, and balls.  The size of your mini-golf course is only limited by your outdoor space and imagination.  You can choose as many players as you like making it fun for the entire family.

How to Play

  • Players will first need to create their mini-golf course using sidewalk chalk and decide how many holes you will have.  You can choose to use a theme or let each player design and draw their own hole; it is up to your imaginations.
  • Each hole will need to include a hole (where the ball must land), borders, and obstacles. 
  • Holes can be as challenging as you want them to be, and for extra fun, you can make up names and corresponding numbers and add them to the holes.
  • Each player will need a golf club, which can either be a plastic toy golf club, toy hockey stick, broom, or whatever you can dream up and create using household materials.
  • Each player will need a ball that can be a small foam ball, ball of aluminum foil, scrap wood, or whatever you can create using household materials.
  • Each player will take turns at each hole, counting how many times it takes them to get the ball in the hole.
  • The winner will be the player who takes the least amount of times to get the ball in the hole or holes.

Chalk Obstacle Course

This fun game will allow players to have fun creating art but will put their fitness to the test as well.  Players can choose any obstacles they want and make the course as large as they want.  It is a fun game the whole family can play together, and all you need is different colors of sidewalk chalk.

How to Play

  • Players decide how large the course will be and how many obstacles it will include.
  • Players use sidewalk chalk to draw the obstacles.  Obstacles can include zig-zags, twisted lines, hopping, gap jumping, or any whatever comes to mind.
  • Players will take turns completing the obstacle course.
  • The winner will be the player who completes the course in the quickest time. 

Chalk Shuffleboard

Shuffleboard is a fun game the entire family can enjoy, and if you don’t have a traditional shuffleboard to play on, you can easily create your own using sidewalk chalk.  To play shuffleboard, you will need sidewalk chalk, cues, and discs.

How to Play

  • Players will first need to create the shuffleboard.  First, draw a rectangle (size will depend on space and how big you want your board to be) and a triangle at each end of the rectangle with the point facing the middle of the court.
  • Divide each triangle into thirds by drawing two equally spaced lines across the triangles.
  • Draw the number 10 in the top of the triangle designating this point value as 10.
  • Draw a line that runs from the baseline at the top of the triangle vertically to four more spaces.
  • Draw the number 8 in the top two sections and the number 7 in the bottom two sections designating these space point values as 8 and 7.
  • Each player will need a cue (use a hockey stick, broom, or even your foot) and discs (use jar lids, plastic hockey puck, or rocks).
  • Players will decide how many discs each team will use and how many points will be considered the winning score.
  • Each team will stand at the end of the court facing the opposing team’s triangle and take turns using the cue to push the disc toward the opponent’s scoring triangle.
  • To score points, discs must be completely within the scoring area.
  • Teams can choose to knock the opposing team’s discs out of the scoring area to limit their points.
  • After all, discs have been played, the points will be added, and the teams will keep playing until the winning score is reached.

Chalk Shuffleboard Variations

  • Solo shuffleboard.  If you are by yourself, don’t worry, just create half a court and practice pushing discs by yourself.  Not only is this fun but you can increase your skill level for the next time you can play with friends and family.
  • Unique shuffleboard court.  Let your imagination run wild, and instead of the traditional two triangle court, design your own court.  You can choose to use different shapes and different score values, it is up to you to have fun and let your imagination run wild.

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