The sun is up, shining bright, and the weather is getting warmer. It is time we finally enjoy outdoor play with our kids again. One of the fun ways to enjoy the outdoors is using sidewalk chalk. Drawing and writing with chalk can help our kids to improve their fine motor skills such as eye-hand coordination, pencil grasp pattern, manipulation, fine motor control, and increasing hand strength. Besides building on their fine motor skills, the kids playing with chalk also enable you to participate in fun activities with your kids that target crucial developmental skills.
Pick a rock or a hammer to break the chalk into small pieces that the little hands can hold comfortably. Kids love this part, and the heavy work helps exercise their upper body. Below are fun ways to keep sidewalk chalk play interesting and help your kiddo develop various skills while still having fun.
Fun Ways to Use Sidewalk Chalk
Drawing a person
The first fun activity is to draw a person and identify the different parts of the body. The activity helps develop prewriting, visual motor skills, and fine motor skills by drawing simple shapes. A nice way to add fun to this activity is to have your kid lay on concrete and use the chalk to outline their body.
Hopscotch is another great coordination activity that enables your munchkin to learn coordination and motor planning skills. Add more fun and challenge to the activity by incorporating arm movements into the jumps. Tell them to put their arms up when they have their feet out, mimicking the jumping jack. When they have their legs hop in, tell them to put their hands down to their sides. While this may seem easy, it can be challenging to coordinate the body together slowly.
Letter/number identification and formation
Use the chalk to draw letters on the concrete, and have your kid use sticks, grass, pebbles, or chalk to imitate or trace the letters. The activity enables the kids to slow down and notice the components that make up the letter, making it easy for them to write the letters. Moreover, you will have the adventure of finding the supplies to trace the letters, offering a great sensory experience.
Coloring rocks on the sidewalk
Use different colored chalk for different color sizes of rocks. Allow the kids to collect the rocks and use the chalk to color them. The kid needs to hold the rock in one hand and see the other hand to color it. The activity promotes awareness of the dominant hand and, through the manipulation within the hand to allow for full coloring, helps develop intrinsic hand strength and improve fine motor skills. With this, the kid can develop coordination and fine motor skills for bilateral activities such as typing, tying shoes, playing with a ball, etc.
We all enjoyed playing the traditional Twister game; add more fun to it by creating your own. You need to draw a 5 by 5 grid of circles and place whatever the kid is working on inside the circles. The game can help identify the letters, site words, or letter associating/matching. Prepare a deck of words or letters that you will use in guiding the kid on what to do and a separate deck with the body part to use.
The match for the sight word /letter or the uppercase counterpart to the words on the Twister board might be found in the first deck. Make practicing the skill a game. “Left hand on the word that matches this m>!” “Right hand on the>!” or simply “Right foot on V!” This game will not only be a fun method to practice visual perceptual abilities, but it will also include somebody’s awareness and right/left recognition!
Spray and Learn
Draw any numbers, shapes, or letters that your kid has trouble writing or drawing, and then fill a spray bottle with water to make the thing “disappear” for them. The activity helps in strengthening the fine motor skills, Recognition of letters, numbers, and shapes, fingers Isolation as well as eye-hand coordination.
Write words on bricks
Use the chalk to write words on bricks or small pieces of wood and arrange them to make crazy phrases or sentences. Like the magnet word games that allow you to make fun sentences on the refrigerator, this is an outdoor variation that adds more fun and allows the kid to use more muscles to do the heavy work. The game helps in developing fine and gross motor skills.
Target practice enables the kid to work on coordination, visual motor, and math skills simultaneously. Use the chalk to draw a target on concrete and place the numbers in the target. Toss a piece of rock or timber and check whether your child can practice other additional skills. You can make the game more challenging and fun by having a goal number toad so that the kid can focus on where they toss the rock.
Learning is best when it is fun. The above sidewalk chalk ideals add fun to learning, allowing your kid to grow and challenge their skills. Every movement we take necessitates the use of motor planning! The motor planning exercises use sidewalk chalk to enhance motor movement development through play. These are ideal activities for sensory outdoor play.