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Stay Curious with Kim! Turn sidewalk chalk into learning fun!

Sidewalk chalk is a pillar of childhood. From writing on the board at school to the sidewalks at the park, we can all have a little FUN and LEARN this summer!

The UCM team LOVES to be creative while learning, and we wanted to share this awesome chalk activity with YOU that we’re borrowing from our friends at Scholastic. Scholastic is renowned in children’s education as a leader in literacy and learning. So, this summer, we are borrowing some of their ideas! 

Kim Newton, our Education Liaison, shares some simple and FUN sidewalk chalk ideas you can do at home! 

My grandchildren always look for an opportunity to write with chalk, whether they are in the playroom writing on their chalkboard or outside in the driveway. I dove into some internet research to find ways for them and for our Children’s Museum families to make chalk activities more interactive AND provide opportunities to learn while playing. I found Scholastic’s 6 Learning Games Using Sidewalk Chalk.  

We tested them outside our new building, and everyone LOVED them!!

I hope you and your child will enjoy time together as you join in on this sidewalk chalk fun! Now let’s get outside! 

Word Ladder (Grades PreK-1)

  • If your child is just beginning to learn how to read, practice writing words with this game. Draw a ladder with four to five rungs on the driveway, sidewalk or any concrete area. On the first rung of the ladder write a simple word such as cat, ten, big, mop, or fun.
  • Have your child write another word on each rung of the ladder that belongs in the same word family. If your child  needs help, ask your child to remove the beginning letter(s) of the first word and replace it with a new beginning sound.

Skip Counting (Grades K-2)

  • This skip counting activity will provide lots of practice for your children. They can practice counting by twos, fives, or tens with this sidewalk chalk activity.
  • Write the string of numbers in a vertical line. Your child will then hop from number to number as he counts aloud. At the end of the line, ask your child if he can continue counting the next numbers. As an option, you can have your child write the numbers with the chalk.

Name a Word/Letter Matching (Grades: PreK-1)

  • To play this game, write random upper case and lowercase letters of the alphabet in a small area, and have your child find a small stick.
  • Ask your child to toss a small stone towards the letters. When the stick lands, ask your little one what letter the stick landed on or near. Then, have your child locate the corresponding lowercase or uppercase letter.
  • As an extra challenge,  have your child  brainstorm a word that begins with that letter. For example, if the stick lands on the letter f, your child could say fun, football, or frog. If your child has the ability to spell the word, ask them to write the word with the sidewalk chalk.

Jump to the Sum (Grades 1-5)

  • Write the numbers 1 through 10 in random order on the sidewalk, leaving about a foot in between each number for this activity. For older children, write additional numbers.
    To play, call out an addition or subtraction problem such as 3+5=? For older children ask them a multiplication or division problem. Then have your child jump to the correct answer. Continue to call out more math problems for your child to solve.
  • *If playing the game using multiplication/division, you may want to include numbers more than through 10 on the sidewalk. 

What Does It Equal? (Grades 1-5)

  • This activity is similar to Letter Matching, but instead of matching letters, write math equations in one column and the answers to those equations in the other column. Have your child match the problems with the answers.