The Advantages of Drawing With Chalk for Children

By Penelope Longfellow
Is there really a better art supply for children than chalk?
Is there really a better art supply for children than chalk?

Compared to the toys and technology available to today's children, chalk might be considered a little old-school. However, drawing with chalk offers many advantages to children. Chalk offers a world of options in the way of art and games, both indoors and outdoors. And as art supplies go, chalk is relatively impermanent, making its cleanup easy and efficient.

Surface Versatility

As a material, chalk looks great on a variety of surfaces. Children can draw with chalk outdoors on pavement, sidewalks, brick walls, a concrete porch, stones and more. Indoors, kids can use a standard chalkboard, of course, but can also decorate paper. Black construction paper, in particular, works well to showcase white and colored chalks. Construction paper chalk drawings offer the added advantage of color blending, where children can create different colors and effects by lightly mixing two or more colors together with their fingers.

Washability

Chalk dissolves readily in water, making it an ideal art supply for children. On outdoor surfaces, chalk art or games can be quickly rinsed away with a spray hose or during a rain shower. A child can clear her own chalkboard with a water-dampened sponge. Chalk-covered hands and clothes do not present a permanent problem, either, cleared up with a routine hand-wash or load of laundry. No special soaps or cleaners are required to wash away chalk marks.

Free-Form Creativity

Unlike a prepackaged kit in which children assemble craft pieces according to specific instructions, chalk is an open-ended art supply. Children can "think outside the box" with chalk, drawing with various chalk colors and experimenting with thick and thin chalk sticks. They can explore texture as they see the effect chalk creates on outdoor surfaces like pavement or stones. On a chalkboard, kids have the advantage or easily erasing a mistake or wiping the board clean to create a new work of art.

Encourages Outdoor Play

As noted by the National Wildlife Federation, outdoor play provides incomparable benefits to children's minds, bodies and spirits, and drawing with chalk can literally draw children out of the house. Classic games like hopscotch encourage children to engage in active play while practicing friendly competition skills. Children can invent their own games through chalk drawing, as well, exercising both their imaginations and their bodies. Because chalk shows up well on so many surfaces outdoors, kids are encouraged to explore their environment while using chalk.

About the Author

Penelope Longfellow has been writing professionally since 2001. She holds a graduate certificate in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Longfellow's work has appeared at Change.org and in "Cape Fear Parent" magazine.