Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

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I know you can pick up sidewalk chalk at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar, but if you make it at home not only is it a fun project to do with your school-aged child, but it makes the driveway-masterpieces all that much more special.

Making your own chalk is so easy! It is simply Plaster of Paris mixed with water and tempera paint. Using sidewalk chalk helps build little hand muscles which will help when they are in school, practicing writing their ABC’s.

Here is what you need…-toilet paper or paper towel tubes (basically a mold– next time I’m going to Ikea for some of their silicone ice trays, they always have cute shapes!)
-scissors
-duct tape
-wax paper
-3/4 cup warm water
-small bucket or disposable container
-1 1/2 cups Plaster of Paris (I waited for the Michael’s 40% off coupon in the mail and bought a huge bucket for under $3)
-2-3 tablespoons tempera paint
1. Cover one end of each tube with duct tape. Cut as many pieces of wax paper as you have tubes. Each piece should be as long as the tube and about 4 inches wide. Roll up each piece of wax paper and slip it into the tube. (Note: My wax paper kept getting crunched up inside the tube as the Plaster of Paris mixture was pretty thick. Next time I would probably tape it to the outside of the tube to prevent it from slipping down inside.)

2. Pour the water into the bowl or bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture thoroughly. Mix in the paint. (I started with yellow and divided it in half to stir some red into one half in order to make orange, then I did a batch of green and a batch of red.)

3. Place each tube tape side down on a level surface. Pour the wet plaster mixture into the tubes. Lightly tap the sides of each tube to release air bubbles, then set the plaster-filled tube aside to harden for a few days. (Mine was dry over night.) Once they are dry, peel off the tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready for action!

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