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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso.
“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” -Walt Disney
Two famous quotes from two famous individuals who left an extreme impact on our world as we know it today.
When I see these quotes, I think of the ways I am engaging with my son daily. Recently, we have participated in many forms of art projects. And while my son thinks these are the best activities ever, I couldn’t help but to think of all the ways I could be participating more in his creativity!
I want to explain that I chose these two quotes for a couple of reasons:
- To show that as children, our imagination is limitless and we can create works of art even when someone else doesn’t see it as such;
- To put a bug in the ear of parents reading this that we need to take even more time with our children to once again become a child with them!
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with today’s spring activities topic. Let me show you how you can create a memorable, magical, and creative afternoon memories with your child(ren) all with an inexpensive item: CHALK!
Probably a boring subheading! That’s all I could conjure up for this simple activity (see my creativity slipping here? Must mean it’s time for my daily dose of childhood shenanigans to ensue to get those creative juices flowing once again).
Chalk art is as simple as it seems. It’s taking a box of various colors of chalk to the sidewalk or the driveway and using your imagination to create art!
Why am I suggesting such an activity? Because while I attempt to create lavish activities for my son to participate in, I forget that sometimes the simpler the activity the better.
In this case, we already had a box of chalk at home that I had purchased some time ago. So, I took the box of chalk and my toddler outside to our front yard to commence the chalk art activity!
Parents, this activity kept my toddler busy for a WHOLE HOUR! He loved having the opportunity to be outside in the nice weather and exploring all the colors he had in his box.
I think his favorite part was drawing with me! He craved my input into the art. If I made a line, a smiley face, or some other type of mark, he created his own markings on top of that. I’m not sure if this was his attempt at autographing my art to claim it as his own? Regardless, we played together for an hour just with chalk.
What I Learned from the Activity
As the parent, you don’t often find that you are going to be the one walking away with a learning experience when you’re playing. However, I did!
With all the commotion of life, it’s easy to forget to enjoy the little things. I feel like I say that a lot in my posts and on social media, but I really do believe that enjoying the little things makes life happier!
While creating chalk art with my son, it was joyful to see his face light up with each stroke of colorful chalk and the amazement of what he saw when he took a moment to recognize what he had just created.
On top of his excitement, I also found myself letting go of the life stressors if even for just a few minutes. Becoming a kid again and seeing the world through his eyes brought me to a happy place. Thus, the reason for choosing those two quotes in the beginning of this post!
Expand on the Activity
For the toddler age group, the parent can draw simple shapes, like squares and circles, on the sidewalk. Then allow your toddler to use their own chalk to color the inside of those shapes. You are helping them build their fine motor skills by being able to manipulate the chalk in their hand. Plus, you are helping them with shape and color recognition by telling them what color they are using to color in that square or circle.
For older children, they almost always seem to enjoy using someone else as part of their canvas! I have seen so much joy in kids tracing someone else’s body on the sidewalk and then decorating the outline in a humorous way afterwards. The mind of a child can create endlessly!
For those days when it’s raining and sidewalk art isn’t an option, consider purchasing a chalkboard or two for inside your home! Hang them low enough that your kiddo(s) can reach and create some art comfortably.
I’ve also seen people have painted parts of a wall in their home with chalkboard paint. Whichever option your choose I’m sure will still bring about loads of entertainment for your little one(s).
One More Thought to Consider
This is a simple activity, but it could mean so much more to your child and to you. Take the time to engage with them and be their inspiration for creating art! I can tell you exactly how many times I have regretted becoming a kid again with my own child: ZERO times. Enjoy the little things!
What silly art work have you created with your child(ren)? Do you enjoy using chalk? Where can you put a chalkboard in your home for your child to utilize? I’d love to hear your experiences! Share some of your pictures if you can in the comments below!
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