Photo: liudmilachernetska via 123RF

Summer is the perfect time to head outside and play games in the shade. There’s nothing more fun than drawing all over the sidewalk with a fresh bucket of chalk! If you’d like to have the snazziest driveway in town this summer, here are a few creative ways to display your chalk art skills!

Make Giant Game Boards

Why not combine classic board games with chalk art? Play giant tic-tac-toe on the driveway, make a checkerboard and use rocks for pieces, or be bold and draw a Monopoly board for a life-sized game! You can replicate almost any game board with chalk. Get creative, and see what you can make.

Use Tape for Abstract Shapes

Instead of using chalk to draw specific objects or write messages, try making an abstract piece! With painter’s tape, mark off a large square or rectangular area. Then use additional tape to create random shapes inside your outline. Some will be triangles, others trapezoids, and so on. Once you’ve taped the whole area into different sections, color each one with a piece of chalk. When you’re finished, remove the tape to see your design!

Try a Silly Obstacle Course

Use chalk to create a ridiculous obstacle course for your friends and family. Draw the path from beginning to end, adding silly tasks along the way. For example, squiggly lines mean “hop on one foot along here,” while zig zags might mean “walk backwards.” You can also write instructions along the path (“count to 10 five times”) and draw spots for participants to add their own chalk designs (“draw a frog in this circle”). Try to make your obstacle course as silly as possible!

Photo: Andrii Medvediuk via 123RF

Make a World for Toys

Instead of using the chalk on its own, incorporate other toys into your play. Draw elaborate highway systems for your toy cars and trucks to navigate. Have a lot of princess toys? Make a castle, gardens, and a dragon for them to fight. Think creatively here. Those Lego people might really enjoy wandering through a chalk jungle or visiting animals at the chalk zoo.

Draw Backdrops for Photos

Instead of using chalk to create a world for toys, take the opportunity to draw backdrops for live-action photo shoots. Draw a cityscape and then lie down above it with a cape in a flying position: superhero photo! Create a giant mushroom forest floor, then lie down with your legs crossed above one of the big mushrooms to pretend you’re sitting on top of it. Can’t hold up an elephant in the real world? Draw a chalk elephant. Then, lie down below it, pretending to let it rest on your hands for an unbelievable photo! Have fun thinking of crazy scenes and poses. Then, make sure your photographer can stand tall enough above you for the right angle in the final shot.

Create Self Portraits

Get a group together, lie down on the pavement, and trace each other’s outlines with chalk; you can lie down straight or be in a silly pose! After all the outlines are finished, fill in your self-portrait however you’d like. Everything from a realistic representation to a creative interpretation is fair game! Include pets for added fun.

Play Hopscotch

Don’t underestimate the classic chalk game—hopscotch! This activity is not only fun to create and play, but it also encourages kids to practice gross motor skills like balancing. It’s also a chance for the little ones to practice counting. Your hopscotch path doesn’t have to be the typical squares, either. Get creative and draw your numbers inside other shapes or pictures. You can have outer space hopscotch and jump from planet to planet or garden hopscotch and jump through various flowers!

Leave Inspirational Messages

Don’t keep your chalk masterpieces to yourself! In public spaces that allow it, leave inspiring chalk messages for your neighbors and community to find as they go on evening walks or play at the park. Choose a short message and a simple design so everyone can easily see your work. Some great sayings to try include “be kind,” “have a great day,” “spread joy,” and other similar messages.

These are just some of the creative ways to use chalk this summer. Grab a fresh pack and head outside!