While I was looking for activities the kids and I could do outside this summer, I saw lots of recipes for homemade sidewalk chalk paint. I briefly considered making some and putting it in spray bottles, but I knew it would only be a matter of time before they squirted each other.
Since it's been so hot here, the logical alternative was to freeze the chalk paint and make it into ice chalk.
I mixed up the sidewalk paint (half cornstarch, half water, plenty of food coloring), poured it into ice cube trays, and froze it.
At first, the lighter colors didn't seem to be working. The pavement just looked wet, but when the water dried the colors were more vibrant.
It turned out to be even more fun than I thought it would be. Besides using the chalk to draw, they used it in lots of other ways:
Color mixing experiments:
The cornstarch makes it thick when it melts, so it's fun to experiment with.
We even snuck in a little science by discussing what caused the ice chalk to melt the fastest.
Play clothes are a must for this activity. Next time I'm going to try washable paint instead of food coloring to reduce the amount of staining on their hands and clothes.
But clean up was fun too.
Update: We did a variation of these using washable paint in this post about frozen popsicle chalk.
And 6 other variations of ice chalk here:
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