activity wet chalk drawings

Chalk Gets Groovy

Chalk goes pop with recycled brown bags and a little water. This surprise spectrum expands your preschooler’s hand-eye coordination and change perception too.


This is bit messy and wet, so be prepared. Cover yourself, your preschooler and your area.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Big, sidewalk chalk found here on Amazon in different colors, your child’s choice
  2. Brown paper bags of any size. We prefer to use larger, grocery bags like the ones here. They’re stronger and provide about 8 pieces of 8 by 10 inch pieces of paper per bag. Smaller-sized, lunch bags like these are just fine too.
  3. Water
  4. Container for water - If possible, fill your kitchen sink with a few inches water. Or, you can use a rectangular baking dish. A 9 by 13 inch baking pan like this works well.
  5. Scissors - for adults only!
  6. Optional - Aluminum foil. We use the kind found in grocery or dollar stores. Here’s an example available on Amazon.
  7. Optional - Child-sized scissors like those found here, for kids 4 years and older 
  1. Adults, cut open your brown paper bags so they are flat and a size that is manageable for your little one. Some 4 year olds can help do this with child-sized scissors.
  2. Optional - To keep your chalk from getting wet, cover each piece with a piece of aluminum foil, leaving about half an inch of the chalk end exposed. Bonus! This prevents smearing colors on hands and fingers. Plus, it stops colors from transferring from one piece of chalk to another when stored. Your little one may enjoy helping you do this too.
  3. Skilly Spark #1: Take a moment with your preschooler to talk about chalk. Sometimes we use it on the sidewalk to draw and make designs. Today we’re going to use it on wet, dark paper and see what happens.
  4. Dip the brown paper in water for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then, shake off any excess water. Your preschooler will have fun doing this.
  5. Skilly Spark #2: Let’s draw with our dry chalk on the wet brown paper. Look closely at what’s happening to our chalk and its colors. Are the colors what you imagined? What colors are brighter? Which ones are darker? What other changes do you see?
  6. Keep drawing until your little artist’s interest wanes.  It’s not necessary to wait until the chalk is dry, just keep on having fun.
  7. If curiosity calls, lay your drawings out to dry. Come back a few minutes or hours later and to see how your chalk drawings have changed ...


Keep the fun going
  • Reverse it! Try using light or white paper next time.
  • Add some contrast - Draw with only light colors on dark paper, or only dark colors on light paper.
  • Rainy day? Head outside and give this technique a go on safe, wet sidewalks or driveways.


+Inspiration/Photo credit goes to India's Holi Celebration, Erco Travels India.