The sun is shining and summer seems to be well and truly here for the moment! Naturally the boys have been spending a lot of time in the garden. This morning we decided to get out the chalk and do some chalk activities, which they really enjoyed
I was struck by how long my 5 year old wanted to stay on the literacy and numeracy games we had started – just because it was outside and done in a different environment! For the younger boys it was a great chance for them to practise their mark making and explore the different colours and shapes.
We started off with lying on the floor and drawing silhouettes of ourselves, or for those who could not stay still for that long – just drawing around the feet or hands, although the whole body is more fun to decorate.You can do this by getting different colours and drawing on the face, clothes and adding any details like glasses. I don’t mind lying on the floor to let the kids draw round me – nearest thing to sunbathing I get! lol 😉
We also collected a few leaves to draw round. You could bring out different toys or items of loads of different shapes and experiment with drawing round all sorts of things.
I am really meaning to make a giant chalk board to go over most of the space on the brick wall though. I am thinking just get giant piece of MDF or wood, paint it with chalk board paint and screw it to the wall? If anyone has done this, please do let me know how it went and pass on any handy tips! I have seen these kind of blackboards in some children’s centres and they are great for water play as well as chalk – using wet paintbrushs for mark making.
Drawing on both the wooden fence and on the brick and the stone paving did give them a chance to feel the different effects of the textures and surfaces though. In the end, the fence seemed to be the favourite as the chalk shows up really brightly.
My 5 year old wanted to play teacher and he started to write sums for me which I had to answer, and then he would give a tick or a cross. He loves numbers and learning but sometimes tires of sitting with a pen and paper for too long (he is only just turned 5, so is to be expected!). He absolutely loved this and we also reversed roles and I wrote some for him too but his favourite is to be the teacher and set me the challenges. Obviously I have to sneak some wrong answers in to make him laugh and see whether he notices and marks them wrong 😀
My 3 year old was also able to practise copying the number 1 which is really good for him.
As well as sums, we moved on to writing sequences and leaving gaps to be filled in and then moved it away from numbers onto literacy activities – done in a similar way by writing words and leaving some letters out to be filled in. I used this chance to help my 5 year old revise some of the “tricky” words he gets sent home from school (the high frequency words from reception year) and it worked really well for this.
Some other ideas could be:
- Draw a treasure map on the floor
- Draw a scene of your choice, then you could add toy figures into it or if it is on a large scale then the kids could lie down on it – to make a cool effect for a photo!
- Draw a road or train tracks, and bring the cars and engines outside to drive on it
- Colouring in – You or your child draw a picture or shape, and then have them colour it in. This could work well with the older ones doing the drawing, and the little ones just colouring it in
- A giant rainbow – Make sure you have all the colours ready, then use the chalks on their sides rather than the tips to make wide beams of each colour for a cool rainbow effect
- Copying lines – bumpy, wiggly, zigzag, or circles. This is really good for developing pencil control later on!
Have you got any more to add? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.