Sidewalk Petroglyphs

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By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

Sidewalk chalk is a staple of summer around here. We pretty much give up parking in the driveway at all since the kids spend half their afternoon scribbling away there. A few weeks ago the bucket of sidewalk chalk was left out during a rainstorm and the kids were delighted to find that rather than dissolving the chalk, it made it softer and brighter to color with. Since then, part of the daily chalk drawing time involves giving each stick a good soak in the water table before using it. Which set me wondering about making liquid chalk.


I remember being fascinated by images of paleolithic spit painting in National Geographic. The thought of spitting paint at your hand seemed at the same time super cool and totally gross. My kids put enough odd things in their mouths without paint being added to the mix but the idea of a liquid, and washable, paint for something similar was intriguing. Thank goodness we live in a world with spray bottles and food coloring!

Be careful with the amount of food coloring you add, you only need a little bit. When you first spray it looks like it’s just wet, but as the water dries out the color comes out. Too much food coloring probably won’t hurt much other than staining some clothing, but it’s just a better bet to start small and add more color if you need it.

Here’s what you need

spray bottle with a wide spray or misting nozzle
6 T corn starch
1 cup of water
1-2 drops of food coloring


Mix the water and starch in a liquid measuring cup. Once the starch is dissolved, drop in the food coloring and give it a quick stir. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle and give it a good shake. The cornstarch will separate out if you let the bottle sit too long so before each use give it a shake and spray away. We experimented with toys, frisbees, hands and leaves. Items with lots of detail in the shape work the best (dog feet, for example, dont make very good prints, but it is kind of funny to see a dog with blue paws!)  but this is the perfect thing for kids to experiment with!

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Gillian

About Gillian

Gillian Grimm lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she balances writing, cooking and crafts with eight chickens, two kids, a dog, a cat and a husband. As the daughter of a Journalist, she grew up all over the United States, switching schools, towns and newspapers every few years and loved every minute of it! She now works as a freelance writer, primarily in the craft industry but with a few forays into travel writing, narrative non-fiction and educational matters. Gillian was recently published in the literary journal the “The Northville Review”. You can find more of Gillian’s work at “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

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