Sidewalk chalk is a staple of summer and a great way to build a game in a snap. Last week, we played a fun bulls eye game with some chalk and sponges and I thought I’d dig around for a few more to play this summer.
#1 SNAIL HOPSCOTCH
Draw a large circle (about 12 inches) on the ground and then draw a very large spiral board on the concrete starting at the circle and spiraling out to look like a snails shell. Divide the spirals into spaces about 12 – 14″ apart and number them. The first player hops on one foot from the center circle to the outside and back. If they make it without stepping of a line or losing their balance they can use sidewalk chalk to mark ANY space they want with their initials. No one is able to jump on that space the rest of the game. The next player must hop on one foot from the center and back but must jump over the space that is marked with initials. If they make it then they may write their initials on any square they choose. This is a simple game, but it gets crazy when kids have to hop all the way across the board to an empty space near the end of the game. The person with the most initialed squares wins. Idea taken from Birthday Party Ideas
#2 HUMAN BOARD GAME
Draw a large game board on the ground using sidewalk chalk and the kids are the playing pieces and move themselves around the board. Start by drawing a giant size oval or rectangle game board. Divide the game board into pieces that are large enough for kids to stand in. In some of the spaces write instructions on what they have to do when they land on that space. Some fun examples are: Move back 3 spaces, Jump up and down until your next turn, Go ahead 2 spaces, Cluck like a chicken until your next turn, Dance in your square until your next turn, Sing “Happy Birthday”, Change places with any player, Go back to Start, Go to any square on the board, etc. You can use regular dice or decorate a large square box with construction paper to use as the die. Idea taken from Birthday Party Ideas.
#3 GET TO THE SHAPE
Inspired by this one person shape game over at Tiny Side Kick, I thought a shape based musical chairs game might be fun for little ones. Start by drawing a variety of shapes (in different colors) on the pavement. Play some music (or hum a song) and then call out a particular shape. Kids must run to and stand on that shape in order to win that round. To make it tougher, call out a particular colored shape such as “Yellow Circle”.
#4 SIDEWALK SWITCHEROO
To play, use chalk to draw a row of connected boxes on a sidewalk. You’ll need one more box than there are players. Then form two teams and have the players stand in the boxes with the empty box separating the two groups. Explain that the object of the game is for the groups to successfully swap places. Now cue the players to start switching positions by moving into unoccupied squares — a feat that may require stepping around one or more people. The only rule is that just one person can occupy each box at any given time. Idea from Spoonful. (You may want to visible mark who is on which team via colored bracelets or washable marker on hands to avoid confusion).
#5 DRIVEWAY BASEBALL
Setup: Draw the playing field as shown. Near the field, create a scoreboard. Have each player choose a stone and use chalk to decorate it with her team’s colors. Gather up plenty of stones or beanbags.
The first player to bat stands or kneels at home plate and tries to land her stone on a spot indicating a hit. If she misses, it’s an out. If her stone lands on the target, the other player gets a chance to toss his stone on the same spot. A matching toss turns the hit into an out; a miss means the hit stands. Use other stones to mark the locations of base runners, and move them according to the results of the tosses. The winner is the team with the most runs after the designated number of innings. Idea from Spoonful.
#6 LINE TAG
In this classic game, players must walk or run along lines in order to chase each other and run from “it”. In this version, you can draw your own crazy lines to make it a bit more exciting. Just be sure to connect most of your lines or the game won’t work. Idea from The Home Teacher.
#7 SIDWALK SKELLZIES
Gather up 9 bottle caps per player, each marked with the player’s initials. The object of this game is for players (you’ll need two or more) to land their bottle caps in the numbered squares. Draw a game board (pictured above). To start, one player sets a cap on the starting line and flicks it, trying to land it in the 1 box without touching a line. If he succeeds, he leaves the cap in that box and goes again, shooting another cap at the 2 box, and so on. If he misses, he collects that cap and the next player takes a turn.If a player hits another’s cap out of a box, he places his in that box and continues shooting (the other player has to shoot for that box again). If a player lands his cap in the square around the 9 box, he loses two turns. The first player to get a cap in all nine squares wins.
Housing a Forest has some great suggestions for setting up an outdoor checkers game. You could use pieces of wood (suggested) or spray paint a few rocks to play the game.
- Instead of a game, just have kids draw according to a theme. Everyone helps build a giant flower garden, for instance. Or trace each other and draw clothes.
- Check out this Pinterest board dedicated entirely to sidewalk chalk activities and games!
- Sidewalk Sudoku from The Usual Mayhem
- Chalk Bombs from Reading Confetti