Chalk is by far one of the coolest inventions in the world. You can use it in your classroom on chalk boards, on colored paper, and you can paint your entire home with chalkboard paint if you want to. Outside, most people think of chalk being used on the sidewalk, but at A Sunny Place Learning Center just outside of Portland, we use chalk a little differently.
We use it on the fence. Children play games like hang man and tic-tac-toe, draw elaborate murals, write words, and if the rain doesn't wash it off, take a hose and rinse off the fence and they get to start again!
There are a lot of reasons to use chalk on your fence boards. The biggest one is clean up. Chalk dust can drive preschool teachers crazy. Outside, it's just dust in the wind. Kiddos are easier to clean up when they have a hand washing bucket or a hose to rinse their hands with. There's no need for erasing or treating a chalkboard when you can just take the hose to it. You can incorporate your lesson into it by directing what they're drawing. If you're doing a plant unit, they can decorate the fence with flowers and leaves. You can go out before your students arrive and put messages on the fence such as HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB! It's a great mixture of gross and fine motor skills practice because they have to stand, squat, and move their bodies as well as direct the little parts of their hands to be the boss of the chalk.
Outside chalk on the fence is great for all ages, gives children extra space to create art, and is really just a lot of fun. If you don't have a wooden fence, don't be afraid to attach a piece of wood to your cyclone. Most of all, have fun!