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  • Sara Thompson

Chalk It Up to a Good Time

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

child drawing a yellow star on the sidewalk
A child creating sidewalk art using colored chalk; Image credit is David R. Tribble

By Sara Thompson

Special to the Enterprise

In nice weather often sees children and families playing outdoors. A favorite pastime of many is using sidewalk chalk. Chalk purchased from the store works just fine, but there are a couple of fun and unique types of sidewalk chalk you can make at home.

The first is glow in the dark chalk. You will need: a bucket or jar, spoon, ice cube tray or other mold, petroleum jelly, plaster, water, food coloring gel or liquid watercolor, and glow in the dark paint.

Coat your ice cube tray or mold with petroleum jelly and set aside. For mixing it is best to use a bucket or jar that you no longer need, as it is highly likely you will need to discard it after mixing the ingredients. Use a spoon to mix 1 Cup of plaster, ½ Cup of water, 3 Tablespoons of the food coloring gel or liquid watercolor, and 4 Tablespoons of your glow in the dark paint. When all the ingredients are completely mixed, spoon them into your ice cube tray or mold. Place in a cool, dry place to dry overnight. Do not freeze! When dry, you may take them out of the mold and begin using them to make glow in the dark art on the sidewalk. The chalk will absorb the sunlight and glow for a short time after dark.

For our small artists who may not quite have the fine motor skills for chalk sticks you can make sidewalk chalk paint. You will need: cornstarch, water, food coloring, a container, spoon (optional), and something to paint with.

In your container, mix the cornstarch and water, begin with a 1:1 ratio and mix with a spoon, your paintbrush, or even your hands! Add a few drops of food coloring and continue mixing. If the chalk paint is too thick, add a little more water, or if it is too runny, add a bit of cornstarch, just try for the consistency you want. Next, take it outside and use a paintbrush to paint on your sidewalk.

Just like the store-bought chalk, neither of these are permanent, but both methods will take a few washes to fully come off the sidewalk. Have fun, and remember to wear sunscreen and drink water when playing outside.


Exploit's coming events:

• Sunday, May 22 Mace Ranch History: From Sheep to Science. This presentation will cover the fascinating history of Mace Ranch from 1850 to present day. The event is included with the cost of admission.

• Explorit is open to the public on Fridays from 1-4pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm. Admission is $5 per person. Explorit Members, ASTC, and those age 2 and under free. Explorit strongly encourages all guests to wear a mask while indoors.

• Limited spaces available for our Summer Science Camps. All camps run from Monday-Friday and will have both indoor and outdoor components. Price is $175 Members/$200 Non-Members. Register for summer camp at

• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.


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