If there’s one thing you should keep in your child’s “I’m bored!” arsenal, it’s a box or bucket of sidewalk chalk! Not only is sidewalk chalk really inexpensive, requires little or no clean up, and keeps kids busy during a long summer day, but there are a ton of activities that will keep their minds sharp. Say good-bye to summer brain drain and hello to playing fun, creative learning games!
I’ve created these 5 easy-to-play, early math games for PreK to grade 2, so let’s get started!
A classic! Not only does this traditional outdoor game get your child hopping, it helps teach him/her numbers and numerical order. Draw a hopscotch path like the one below. Then have your child stand on START, toss a rock onto a number, and watch him/her hop over to it while counting out loud. If your child is able to hop and stand on one foot, great! But if not, no biggie. The most important thing is that s/he is trying to learn and using those big, growing motor skills.
This is a great counting game. Draw 2 sets of 5 squares. Inside each square write numbers 1 through 5 (in any order) on the left side. On the right side, draw dots representing 1 through 5, again inside squares. Ask your child to match the number they see with the number of dots and draw a line from the number to the dots.
Flowers make everything beautiful, including early math skills! First, draw two flowers with big petals. Write numbers 1–5 and 6–10 inside each petal. Then ask your child to point to a specific number (or if your child is really tactile, s/he can use a rock).
Start by drawing 10 large circles and write a number from 1 to 10 inside each circle. Then find rocks (or other things from the outdoors like leaves, sticks, blades of grass, etc.) and ask your child to place the specific amount that matches the number in each circle. For example, place 2 rocks into the number 2 circle and so on.
Add Them Up
For this game, use the sidewalk chalk to write addition equations then have your child step on the equation and tell you the answer. When writing the equations, I would start with answers that don’t go above five, and then as your child starts to catch on, you can change the equations by making the answers go up to 10.
Sidewalk chalk is a must–have for the summer, and there are endless possibilities for what you can do with it, from learning to creating to drawing to playing! And the clean-up is super easy, which is my favorite part about it! I hope this list of ideas was a good place for you to start, and I can’t wait to see what other sidewalk chalk games you might have to share.
Over 20 years ago, I fell in love with developing educational toys and tools and continue to honor this career at hand2mind while raising my family alongside my husband. As a mom of 2 boys, a 3- and 11-year old, I love seeing and experiencing life through their eyes: playing outdoors, exercising, sharing, reading, baking, and shopping (I’m very frugal and seek out the best deals!). Beyond that, my life mantra is pretty simple: Play. Learn. Laugh. Love. Oh, and eat lots of dark chocolate.