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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Buy It When You Can Make It?

The Lee Kids love sidewalk chalk!  We probably draw with chalk 5 out of 7 days during the week.  I cannot remember where I saw it, I am sure it was probably a magazine at a doctor's office or something random like that, but when saw instructions on how to make your own sidewalk chalk I knew the kids would get a big kick out of making their own chalk.  So I tucked the directions away in my mind to pull out on a long afternoon.  I picked up the necessary supplies that week at the store so they would be on hand, ready for use.  Sidewalk chalk is surprisingly easy to make.  All you need is:

Plaster of Paris
Tempera Paint
Mix one cup of Plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup of water.  Add paint color (the directions I read said to use powder tempera paint, but I could not find it.  The regular paint worked pretty good, more on that later).  

I mixed the Plaster of Paris and water together and then divided it up into different bowls for the kids to add their own colors.  
All was going well until I suggested they might want to mix two colors together.  The mixing of two colors turned into the mixing of all the colors which ruined the liquid to plater of paris ratio needed for the chalk to dry.  I would suggest a one color limit if you are not going to use powdered tempera paints (which can be very messy).  The chalks that had more than one color never hardened.
For molds I just used flexible muffin tins.  I thought they made the perfect size and allowed the kids to make a lot of different colors.  The directions I saw suggested toilet paper rolls.
Let that chalk set for a few days to dry completely.  This is the hardest part for the kids.  Ella and Miller begged to use the chalk over and over.  I let them use some the next afternoon and it was not hard enough yet.  But after a few days it was perfect.  And they loved using their own sidewalk chalk.  Definitely worth the wait.
I know this is a lot of effort for something that you can buy for $1.50, but how boring to draw with chalk that you bought when you could be drawing with chalk that you made!!!  Plus we are always looking for fun things that we can all do together to make these long, hot afternoons a little bit more interesting.

Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. you are a good mom. I hate sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. I try to throw them out as soon as possible. Maybe I will try the chalk one day.