Sidewalk chalk is an excellent way for kids (and adults) to vent all that creative energy while sparing your walls. It’s also easy to clean up to prepare for the next day’s adventure. Since it’s only colored calcium carbonate, It’s also friendly to the lawn and plants. Everyone knows it can be used on the sidewalk and driveway but what about the wood fence?
Yes, sidewalk chalk is often used on wood fences so the artwork can go vertical which allows the canvas to be expanded! Kids can even paint the deck or the front porch. Fences can be decorated or festooned with messages or can point the way to a big Saturday yard sale.
Using sidewalk chalk is great because it is easy to clean and it gives children a place to guiltlessly express themselves. Painting, drawing, coloring, and writing are not only fun but help develops fine motor skills, encourage their imagination, and provide a fun way for parents to teach their kids how to make letters.
A Good Way to Learn
This type of kinetic learning is a good way to expand their education beyond standard book learning, lesson plans, and stories.
It adds a new element to their development and education by getting them directly involved. Picking up a pencil and writing on paper is great, but writing on the fence can be both fun and educational.
Incorporating fun into learning is key to making the lessons easy to learn and easy to retain. It also makes kids more apt to get involved.
No one wants the drudgery of having to do something, it’s much better if you get to do something. Looking forward to fun is something everyone can get behind and it’s even better if learning is an added bonus.
This also gets kids another chance to be outside in the fresh air and sunlight. They will have a world around them of exciting things to draw and paint.
Parents can recruit their colorful imaginations to help draw attention to a yard sale or other spring or summertime activity.
We recommend using a washable Sidewalk Chalk like this one from Chalk City. This makes cleanup quick and easy as the chalk can easily be washed off.
Preparing the Wood
Painted and plain wood can be drawn on with sidewalk chalk but the consistency and color may not turn out well on these unprepared surfaces.
For that authentic chalkboard feel and consistency, it is best to prepare the surface to hold the chalk.
This can be done by mixing a little tile grout in with the paint, about 2 tablespoons per cup of paint will work. Then paint the fence as normal.
Any color paint will work so feel free to be creative! The tile grout will add a bit of abrasive to the paint which will help gather and hold the chalk to create stark, bright lines.
Preparing a fence for sidewalk chalk will also protect it from damage caused by moisture and UV light from the sun.
It will also open up the use of chalk or an alternative on a fence will nurture the creative spark in children and adults alike. A section of picket fence can make for a fun and easily changeable piece of yard art.
Since it will likely wash off in the rain, it provides a ready activity when the sun peeks back out. For signs, messages, or an especially inspiring or whimsical piece of art, it may be a good idea to apply something to make sure it stays.
Permanent fixatives can be purchased or hairspray can be used as a temporary fixative to make sure the newly decorated fence doesn’t smudge or wear off.
If the surface of the fence has been properly prepared for sidewalk chalk, removal is as easy as rinsing with water. There may be a few spots that need some extra attention but it’s pretty easy. On unprepared surfaces, a damp sponge and Soft Scrub usually do the trick.
For an alternative to sidewalk chalk simply mix a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch and water along with the appropriate food color to make an easy-to-apply and remove paint.
Use a muffin pan as a palette and put some of the base in each spot along with a few drops of different colors in each.
Another alternative is eggshell chalk. To make this, grind clean and dry eggshells into a fine powder in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle. Then in a 1:1:1 ratio, mix water, flour, and eggshell powder along with the food color of your choice. Form the mixture into a log shape and allow them to dry.
Making these products yourself allows you to control what goes in them. It can also be a fun activity in and of itself. It’s easy to do and would be a great project to get the kids involved in. The kids will get even more enjoyment out of their sidewalk chalk having made it themselves.
Chalk paint can also be purchased at the local hardware store or craft store. These can be either brush paints or spray paint.
Make sure to have some painter’s tape to make straight lines and designs. Also, cardboard can be used as a paint blocker along with stencils to keep the lines straight and the lettering consistent and legible.
They work just like regular permanent paint but, like sidewalk chalk, can be easily removed and are made of ingredients that won’t damage surfaces or the surrounding foliage.
So, there is no need for special preparations or clean-up instructions and unlike permanent paint, a mistake or spill isn’t a disaster.
Both kids and adults can run amok painting and coloring anything they like without the need to repaint the walls, pressure-wash the driveway, or recondition the soil and replant the lawn.
Sidewalk chalk and these alternatives can turn your whole yard into a canvas that can be washed clean in just a few moments with the garden hose or a passing rain shower. Let everyone’s imagination run wild with a bit of chalk!