Chalk is one of those every day materials that is so great, because there are endless ways to use it. To check out all of our chalk activities, just type in “chalk” into our search bar to see all the endless ways you can have fun outdoors.
This activity is actually a way to use chalk indoors or outdoors, in case you are looking for a way to make even more connections with a familiar and inexpensive material. Here, we invite children to engage in process art with chalk. Process art means there is not a final expectation where everyone has a product that looks the same, but instead the learning happens in the discovery along the way. Here, we invite children to grind up chalk and use it as an art material in its powder form. In the process, we explore tools, surface texture, color, blending, and there is plenty of room for inspiration in case this prompts the children to create something special.
Set up Time: 5 minutes
- Gather together chalk, a plate, and items to grind the chalk. We used a butter knife and an oblong smooth stone. Enjoy the process of looking for tools, as that is part of the activity. As always, be sure to use age appropriate tools (such as a plastic knife or butter knife)
- Invite children to shave, smooth, pound, or grind their chalk. They might choose to mix it all together, or do it in different containers. Just be sure you are on a stable surface—we did this activity outside so that the sound of banging doesn’t bother children with sensory sensitivity.
- Invite children to explore creating with the powder. We tried two methods. We smeared the powder on one page with our hands, and drew over it. On another page, we spread some glue with a paintbrush and then sprinkled the chalk on. Children may come up with their entirely own method!
- Child-safe cutlery
- Construction paper
Learning Through Play
Cognitive: Problem-Solving – Process art is great for children’s thinking skills, as it invites them to think through techniques. This is not only good for their future artistic skills, but also for future science experiments or fixing things around the house. In process art, we are inviting children to develop an intimate understanding of materials, tools, and techniques for exploration and creation.
Physical: Fine Motor – Using different tools is a great way to invite children to use both their fine motor and gross motor skills. Here, they grasp a stone and bang away—which actually requires a very strong grip and good eye-hand coordination. Plus, they will love getting to expend some pent up energy as they get to destroy something on purpose (in this case, chalk!).
School Readiness: Love of Books – Does this inspire any story telling in children? They might lean towards abstraction, which is perfectly fine, or it might inspire a story, or set the scene for something special. For example, perhaps they are inspired to create rainbows, which inspires them to tell a story about magical creatures. Either way, follow children’s lead and acknowledge where older children might be more interested in story telling whereas a toddler might simply enjoy the chalk pounding process.
See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other fun art activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.