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  • Gina

Squirt Bottle Sidewalk Chalk Paint

In this BLOG post I will share the recipe for chalk paint, as well as ways to extend your learning.

This takes a super fun outdoor activity (CHALK PAINT) and turns it into a mega motor activity! If you have a sensory-sensitive child, putting this mixture into a squeeze bottle can help. This way, they don't have to touch it with their fingers or get messy.

Putting it in a squirt bottle also solves the problem of the tray of chalk paint being dumped instantly and the activity being over in 30 seconds! The squirt bottle method can slow them down and help to create more purposeful and thoughtful interactions with it.

As they squeeze squirt and create, they will also be strengthening their fine motor skills! As they move and bend and stretch, they are also strengthening their gross motor skills.

There is SO much going on, all though art and play!

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 pours 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 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!

It's also great for playdates or small group instruction. It offers meaningful ways to work on important social skills such as turn-taking, using manners, practicing patience and sharing space.

You will need:

  • Cornstarch

  • Baking s

  • Water

  • Food coloring

  • Squirt bottles (one for every color you want to use)

Activities like this also work well for multiple age groups. My 2-, 5-, 7- & 9-year-olds all played together at their individual levels!

I use equal parts cornstarch and water. You want it to have a thin, liquid-feel & not be congealed like Oobleck would be!

For these 8-ounce bottles, I added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, to fill it about 2/3 of the way full. Then I added 5-7 drops of food coloring and topped it off with warm water.

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

You want to mix these well. Shaking the bottles is also a great motor activity for kids, just make sure they're holding the cap down! These are one-time use, once you finish painting, rinse them out and play again another day!

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! Plus, it is a simple and fun way to spend some quality time together!

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.

  • Spot check your pavement to check for staining.

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


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