Making chalk rainbows

Whenever the weather is nice, one of our favourite activities is to get our big bucket of chalks out, and draw on our patio. My daughter absolutely loves having the chance to be creative.

I probably shouldn’t admit it, but one of my favourite things about using chalks is that there’s absolutely zero prep work required. I don’t need to get anything ready in advance, I don’t even need to think about it until the moment my daughter asks ‘can we play with the chalks?’, and that’s that. Just hand her the bucket, and off she goes. We love painting together too, but by the time I’ve protected the dining table, got her dressed in her art apron, got the paints and paper ready… it’s undeniably a bit of a faff. Not to mention having to clean the brushes afterwards!

So drawing with chalks is a perfect activity. Of course you can use chalks as an indoor activity too, just drawing on paper, but we like to go outside. It’s nice to get some fresh air, and it’s a bit of a novelty for her, being allowed to draw on the patio and decking! As soon as it rains, the chalk gets washed right away, so there’s no clean up for me.

Depending on the day, my daughter does occasionally get a bit mucky (she has a habit of wiping her chalky hands down her front!), but all it takes is a quick t-shirt change, and everyone’s clean again.

Often my daughter will just scribble on the patio, but this time she decided she wanted to draw a rainbow. She’s just turned 3, and she’s starting to be more deliberate about the things she draws – rather than just random scrawls!

We only have three colours of chalk – white, yellow, pink and purple – so the rainbow obviously wasn’t technically perfect, but that didn’t matter at all. She had a great time grabbing new colours and doing big swooping arches one under the other.

To draw chalk rainbows, you will need:

  • various colours of chalk (it doesn’t matter if they’re not the perfect rainbow colours!)
  • somewhere to draw, e.g. a patio, decking, or even just a piece of paper

You could extend this activity by:

  • talking about real rainbows and noticing what colours they usually have
  • drawing a scene around the rainbow, e.g. farm animals, clouds, etc.
  • practising drawing different types of lines (e.g. zig-zags, circles), as well as just big swoops

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