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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the Day: Rainbows and vines- it's pavement chalk time!

Linking in nicely both with It Being Thursday (so rainbows for key workers) and our Green Infrastructure How to Keep Your Cool post (chalk vines won't- but real vines will), here are some ideas about how to make great pavement pictures to cheer up people who come past your home.

Do remember about social distancing, and only do this activity in places where it's OK for you to be in one place for a little while without compromising your or anyone else's safety- if you're somewhere quite busy, this may not be possible- but hopefully you can find a quiet enough place for a little bit of chalking...

Sidewalk chalk is a big thing in the USA, and there are lots of recipes online. Quite often we've ended up with the homemade chalk setting a bit too hard after a few days, but it usually works nicely until then- and it washes off in the rain so no worries about antisocial graffiti!

We used this plaster of Paris chalk recipe, and we started with this cornstarch paint recipe, but then microwaved the result for a minute and then diluted it to a gooey thick paint to make two really different mediums for drawing all over everything outside. Our cornflour was really out of date (as was the food colouring) but cooking it made it thicken a lot more liquid than using it raw so we got loads more paint than we would have otherwise. Plus, straight after cooking the cornflour paint looked like crazy cake, which we all thought was cool.

Cornflour paint- before cooking, cooked (but not yet diluted- it looks like cake!), ready to use, and in use!

Plaster of Paris "chalk" sticks: We used old delivery card to make the tubes- some stuck to the edge of the chalk, but they still worked fine. You could scrub off the card if it annoys you but it keeps your fingers a bit less chalky...

The paint is likely to stain (unless you've managed to find washable food colourings) so wear old clothes- and please please follow the safety instructions when using plaster of Paris: It gets VERY hot as it's setting, so make sure fingers do not go in it, hands are well washed, avoid splashing, keep eyes covered with safety glasses if possible and little ones stay away while it's being mixed.

Then have fun creating some great pictures for your neighbours to enjoy!

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