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Making Sidewalk Paint

Some days, you just need a quick and easy activity that will keep your toddler outside and moving around. Maybe it’s been raining (there has certainly been plenty of that lately!), or he’s just been climbing the walls. Or maybe it’s just time for something different to do outside.

Vibrant colors
Vibrant colorsEmily L. Goodman

What about making sidewalk paint? The best part? It’s easy! You probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already.

Get out cornstarch and food coloring. Good to go so far? Squirt food coloring into your container of choice. If you’re going to be doing multiple colors, a muffin tin is a great container to use. A little bit of food coloring makes paler colors, more like what you’ll normally find in chalk. A lot of food coloring makes a much brighter, more vibrant color. Don’t get too carried away—a good squirt will make the vibrant colors seen in the slideshow.

Add your cornstarch, then combine with equal parts water. Stir. It will be difficult to combine at first, but as you stir, the cornstarch will dissolve into the water.

Now, hand your child a brush, send them outside, and let their creativity run wild! No matter how well they decorate the sidewalk, it can be washed away with a water hose, or will likely disappear the next time it rains. Obviously, young children should always be supervised outdoors. Feel free to extend your child’s canvas to the walls—just remember that the rain will be less likely to reach their masterpiece there, and you’ll have to take the time to erase it yourself.

Will the big kids join in on this one? Absolutely! It’s a fun project that they will enjoy, and then beg for more opportunities to check it out. Give them the chance to explore and use their creativity on a wide canvas that doesn’t require them to limit themselves. Do they want to color outside the lines? Let them go wild!

Toddler verdict: Mommy, I want to paint again!