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  • Gina

The BEST Recipe for Outdoor Chalk Paint

In this BLOG post, I will share our recipe for outdoor chalk paint, discuss ways to extend your learning and play and explain our best clean-up tips.

Our recipe for chalk paint only requires 3 ingredients & it takes just a few minutes to make! My 8-year-old is in charge of making it for our family! It is a great way to get outdoors and get creative! It glides on smooth like paint & dries a pretty opaque color.

Not only is that activity FUN for all ages, but it is also incredibly calming for some kids. Arts and crafts, particularly painting is a great practice in self-regulation. It is known to reduce stress & anxiety in both children & adults. It not only encourages a quiet, peaceful environment but it also allows your brain to focus on the colors & the lines & the brush strokes, providing those "feel good feelings" that we all get when we are doing something we love!

If you have a sensory-sensitive child, you can put this same mixture into a squirt or squeeze bottle so that they don't have to touch it with their fingers. As they spray and squirt and create, they will also be strengthening their fine motor skills!

If you are looking for a fun & engaging way to get some time outside, this is it!! While your little artist creates, they will be getting the benefits of fresh air, using their imagination, strengthening motor skills AND being exposed to the magic world of color mixing!

This is also an activity that I use to connect with my four kids. I don't care for pretend play, but I do like to get on the ground and create with them. It's an all-inclusive activity for my family. I can sit and bond with them and each of them can interact with the materials at their own individual levels. It brings us all into each other's worlds. So simple, but so impactful!

You will need:

  • Cornstarch

  • Water

  • Food coloring

  • Muffin tin, bowl or cup

  • Paintbrushes

I like to use a muffin tin because it is easy to clean, easy for my kids to use & I always have them on hand. But you can use any bowl, cup or container that you prefer! This small one is from the Dollar Tree & we use it for painting & crafting & loose parts storage!

If you are worried about spilling, put a sensory tray or baking sheet underneath the muffin tin to catch drips.

I use equal parts cornstarch and water. You want it to have a thin, liquid-feel & not be congealed like Oobleck would be! So, if you add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into your muffin tin, add 2 tablespoons of water & mix well. You can always add more water if needed.

To be honest, I always eyeball it and it still comes out great! So don't stress over the measurements!! I add the cornstarch first, then 3-4 squirts of food coloring on top. If you are looking for deeper, darker colors, add a few more squirts.

Pour the water on top & mix well. It will feel a little hard at first as the cornstarch interacts with the water & begins to clump together. Keep mixing until smooth!

This recipe is a perfect one to have your kiddos try out on their own. It will encourage them to follow directions, measure, mix & create independently!

Want to extend your learning?

  • Practice writing your name on the pavement with chalk paint.

  • Practice writing upper and lowercase letters.

  • Practice writing numbers or answering addition or subtraction problems for higher level learners.

  • Practice drawing shapes.

  • Use the varying colors to work on identifying and extending patterns.

  • Speaking of colors, this is such a fun and interactive way to reinforce color names and color mixing!

Clean-up Tips:

Chalk paint has always rinsed right off of our pavement. We have never had an issue with staining. You are using food coloring, so be aware & use your own judgement when choosing which surface to paint on. A good rainstorm of the hose has always rinsed it right off!

  • Be sure to use your chalk paint outdoors. You can even bring all of the ingredients out and mix the recipe outside as well.

  • Wear older "play" clothes or a fabric that is easily washable.

  • Before beginning your activity, bring out paper towels or a towel and a plastic bag to collect the trash.

  • Plan your day so you can head to the tub or rinse off with the hose afterwards.

  • Soap and water should remove any food coloring from your hands or body.

Looking for another sensory play activity with cornstarch? Check out our Muddy Farm Play post HERE!!


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