Fun and FUNctional Ways to Use Sidewalk Chalk

The sun is shining, the air is getting warmer, and we can finally enjoy playing outside again.  Why not make FUNctional use out of one of everyone’s favorite outdoor toys – sidewalk chalk!  Here are a few ways to mix up the classic tool – keep it interesting and new for your kiddo and work on a variety of skills through these activities!

  1. Drawing a person – Work on body awareness by identifying body parts, visual motor and prewriting skills of drawing simple shapes, and fine motor skills by simply grasping the chalk. You could even work on impulse control by having your child lay on the concrete as still as they can while you outline their body – no squirming allowed!
  2. Hopscotch – This is an awesome coordination activity! Your little one will learn motor planning and coordination skills.  You can even challenge them by incorporating arm movements into the jumps – every time their feet are “out” their arms go “up” like a jumping jack.  When their legs hop “in”, their arms go down to their sides.  It’s harder than it seems to slowly coordinate the body together!
  3. Letter/number identification and formation – Have the letters drawn in chalk on the concrete and see if your child can use pebbles, sticks, grass, or chalk to trace or imitate the letters. The more they slow down and notice all the components of the letters, the easier it will become for them to write them themselves!  Plus, the adventure of finding the supplies is a great sensory experience!
  4. Twister – We have all played the traditional Twister game, but why not make your own?! Draw a 5×5 grid of circles and put whatever it is your child is working on within the circles – you could work on letter identification, letter matching/associating, or site words!  Have a deck of the letters/words to use to command your child of what to do and another deck with which body part to use.  The first deck could have the match for the letter/site word or the lowercase counterpart to the letters on the Twister board.  Make it a game to work on the skill.  “Right hand on the letter that matches this <m>!”, “Left hand on <the>!”, or simply “Left foot on V (and show them a visual if they need it!)”.  Not only will this be a fun way to practice visual perceptual skills, but you’ll sneak in some body awareness and left/right identification with the game, too!
  5. Target Practice – Work on visual motor, coordination, and math skills all in one activity! Draw a target on the ground and put numbers within them.  Toss a rock and see if your child can practice their addition skills.  Challenge them by having a “goal” number to add to so that they really have to focus on where they’re tossing their rock!

Have fun with how to incorporate such a simple item in a creative way to help your child grow and challenge their skills!  Learning is done best when it’s FUN.  (Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen ?)


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