A perfect activity for a nice summer’s day: Making drawings on the sidewalk with chalk! I went online to buy some chalk but came across DIY ideas instead. I thought it would be pretty cool to learn how to make sidewalk chalk myself! But most recipes I came across contain plaster. Now I trust my toddler not to put the chalk into his mouth, but his 9-month-old little sister is another story. So I thought it best to find a taste-safe option. I came across a recipe using cornstarch instead of plaster.
The best thing about it was: I had everything I needed at home to get started right away!
As a mold, I would advise you to use a silicone icecube tray. This will give you nice small chalk pieces. I didn’t have those, though, and didn’t feel like waiting until I could buy them or order them online. So I did it the DIY way. I used toilet paper rolls. If you are like me and want to get started with the project right away, you could do the same.
You line the toilet paper rolls with a bit of baking paper or wax paper. I have read you could even use a bit of vaseline to cover the inside of the rolls if you don’t have any wax paper or baking paper. I never tried this, but apparently, it prevents the chalk from sticking to the rolls as well.
Take a bit of your wax paper or baking paper and use it to close the bottom (if you don’t have this, you could use clingfilm). In the picture, you can see that I used elastic bands to hold the bottom piece of paper in place. I would advise you to fix it with tape, though. Some of my molds were leaking.
When you have prepared your molds, it is time to mix your chalk.
- Fluid Food coloring
The chalk part is simple—mix equal parts of water and Cornstarch and add a couple of drops of liquid food coloring:
First, pour your water into a container. Then add the cornstarch spoon by spoon. And stir it with a fork. You will feel it gets the right consistency when it becomes hard. It is hard to describe, really. It is a weird kind of hard but fluid at the same time feeling. It feels hard when you stir it, but when you let it drizzle from your fork, it still seems fluid. You’ll know what I mean when you try it.
Divide the mixture into separate smaller containers, depending on the number of different colors you want to make. Now add a couple of drops of food coloring into it: the more coloring, the more vivid the colors.
When mixed, you pour the mixture into the rolls or your silicone mold. To make sure your rolls don’t fall over, you can put them in a glass.
Now wait 12 hours for your Sidewalk Chalk to be ready
You will need to leave the chalk rest for about 12 hours for it to get hard. At this point in the process, I must confess I was pretty skeptical. I couldn’t believe it would work. It was still so fluid somehow… But hard when stirring. Really a weird consistency. But lo and behold! The next day the chalk was hard and ready for use!
It works really well! But … It does crumble relatively easily. I found that one batch of chalk was for playing with one or maybe two times. When your kids are a bit older, recipes with plaster are probably better. But with small baby hands that put everything in their mouths nearby, I am pretty happy with this recipe for sidewalk chalk. We had a lot of fun with it.
Will this sidewalk chalk wash away?
It didn’t stain my kids. It did stay on the sidewalk for longer than one rainy day, though. But we have really old pavement. If you are worried it might not wash away quickly enough, you could test it first on a small piece of pavement. To be on the safe side.
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