Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
First off, I know that chalk boards are pretty much obsolete but in many classrooms sidewalk around the school is available. With chalk you can allow students to draw and label things such as the body, plants, the earth, and even the states and capitals! Also, just let them have free time and fun to draw.
Second, I’m sorry for so many posts on DIY things. It is really hitting me lately that everything I do HAS to be on a budget so I have become a crafting queen! Now that housekeeping is done- on to the chalk!
- Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
- Duct tape
- Wax paper
- Small bucket or disposable container to make the recipe
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1 1/2 cups Plaster of Paris
- 2-3 Tbs of tempera paint
- Paper bag or a “mess mat”
- If you are using paper towel tubes, cut each tube in half, so it is roughly the length of a toilet paper roll tube.
- Cover one end of each tube with duct tape to help the contents within.
- Cut as many pieces of wax paper as you have tubes. Roughly 6 inches X 6 inches. Roll the wax paper loosely and insert into the tubes so as to effectively line the tubes. The top of the wax paper will be higher than the tubes. The wax paper liner will keep the chalk mixture from sticking to the cardboard tubes and will eventually be peeled off.
- Pour the warm water into your bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture with a plastic spoon. The Plaster of Paris roughly starts hardening within 20-30 minutes, so you need to work fast so that it does not harden too quickly.
- Next you will want to pour the tempera pain into the Plaster of Paris mixture and stir so that it is mixed thoroughly. If you would like brighter colors, add more tempera pain into the mixture. We wanted to make a variety of colors of chalk, so we spooned about 1/2-3/4 cup of the Plaster os Paris in each separate container and mixed in the different tempera paint colors into each bowl.
- Stand each tube with the tape side down on a cookie sheet/flat baking dish/box lid to make the project easier to transport to a drying location. Pour or spoon the colored Plaster of Paris mixture into the wax paper lined tubes. Lightly tap the sides of the tubes to release the air bubbles. After you have poured the mixture into the tubes, start another color. When done trim the excess wax paper so that it is closer to the cardboard tube.
- It took 3 days for our chalk to dry. On the last day, we peeled off the duct tap so that the underside could dry. When the chalk dries, peel off the paper tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready!
I love this activity and I cannot wait to try to. The instructions seem a bit overwhelming, but you can find step-by-step pictures here. If you are into saving with DIY as much as me, check out the website for so many kid-friendly (and mostly kid involved) crafts!
DIY Chalkboard Paint
Chalkboard paint is definitely not cheap! Although you cannot pain the classroom, (it would be wonderful if we could!) putting chalkboard paint on dishes, glass, and more!
A simple, DIY recipe for chalkboard paint (by mynameismomma.com):
Non-Sanded tile grout (found at your local hardware store)
Any paint color
A small paint brush
Mix tile grout and paint mixture and stir very well to get rid of all lumps
Allow to dry, then start chalking!
As teachers, we want the very best art supplies for our students to use on projects. Also as teachers, we often cannot afford to buy the best supplies for our students and that is when wonderful DIY projects kick in. Below is a recipe for DIY watercolor paints (from ohmyhandmade.com.)
3 Tbs baking soda
3 Tbs corn starch
3 Tbs white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
First, mix the baking soda, corn starch, and light corn syrup together in a mixing bowl. then mix the white vinegar into your mixing bowl. You can divide this mixture into different containers then add your food coloring for each color (10-13 drops for small containers) or drop all the food coloring in the mixing bowl to make a large batch of one color. Use anything from professional pain containers to egg cartons to store the paint and allow about 24 hours to dry. The paint does get much lighter as it dries and as it is used so add extra food coloring to get more vibrant colors. Also, the paint will have a bit of texture from the bakin soda.
This is a quick and easy recipe that students can use anytime. You could even ask the students to bring in their favorite color in food coloring or any of the other ingredients and allow them to help create the paint.
Have the students draw a name of a classmate from a hat (include yourself if there is an odd number in your classroom). Then, create basic construction paper flowers with a center and petals. On the petals, have the students write positive adjectives about their secret Flower Friend. On the center, have the students write the name of the other student. Allow the students time to exchange flowers and read their compliments.
Talk to the students about the importance of lifting each other up and complimenting others frequently.