Outdoor Play

How To Make DIY Sidewalk Chalk

By: Highlights Editorial
4 sticks of homemade sidewalk chalk on the pavement.
minute activity
Ages 3+
Reading and Writing

Making homemade sidewalk chalk is surprisingly simple – and fun! Just save the cardboard tubes from paper towels and pick up some plaster at the hardware store. It will take about 24 hours for the homemade chalk to thoroughly dry, so try to choose a day with low humidity.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Mix together the powdered plaster with the water until the mixture is about as thick as toothpaste. (If it seems too runny, add 1 tablespoon of plaster at a time, until it’s thick enough. If it seems too thick, add a small amount of water.)

  2. Set the cardboard tube upright on a piece of waxed paper. Spoon the mixture into the cardboard tube. Try to pop or push down any bubbles you see.

  3. Let the filled tube rest upright on the waxed paper for three to four hours until the chalk has “set.” Then peel off the damp cardboard.

  4. Let the chalk dry completely for 24 hours.

To Make Colored Chalk

Add liquid tempera paint to the mixture above after you add the water. (Use as much as you need to get the color you want.) Follow directions from step 2 on.

Extend the Fun

Head for the nearest smooth sidewalk or your driveway with homemade chalk in hand. Better yet, buy some special chalkboard paint at the store and have kids turn a wall of their bedroom, playroom or the family message area into a chalkboard. Then you can write on the walls—without a care—any time.

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial