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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Let's Talk About Chalk

One of the best investments you can make for your child's entertainment is chalk. Chalk is relatively inexpensive and very versatile. You should buy basic white chalk, colored chalk, and sidewalk chalk to keep on hand for those times when you need some quick entertainment. I would also like to note that their are recipes available to make your own homemade chalk, but I find that to be far too time consuming to be of any real value beyond the educational level.

White chalk and colored chalk can be used on any kind of paper. If you take construction paper and show your child how to draw on the paper and then blend the chalk with a paper towel or sponge, your child will spend plenty of time experimenting with the different patterns that can be made using chalk. Your child can try a variety of different blending materials including a slightly damp cloth, soft fabric, rough fabric, paper towels, and fingers.

Sidewalk chalk is the perfect outdoor tool. Roads and driveways are quickly transformed into canvases and covered with priceless artwork that can never be sold when you hand your child a colorful bucket of chunky sidewalk chalk. Woe be unto the parent who attempts to fore go sidewalk chalk in favor of the regular chalk that they just happen to have in the cupboard for they will soon learn that regular chalk does not work on sidewalks and roads because it is far too soft and crumbles the moment it touches the ground leaving the child in a puddle of screaming tears when they realize that all their chalk has vanished into dust. Just give in and buy the hard, chunky sidewalk chalk. You and your child will be much happier when you do.

Be prepared for the extreme level of creativity exhibited by children when they are provided with sidewalk chalk. The clever child will also experiment with tracing their siblings and friends and showing you where the "bodies" were found when the police came. This is especially true if you ever let Daddy out to play with them as daddies are well known for the somewhat devious influence they have on their children. You should be ready to respond with shock that bodies were found in your driveway and ask your kids if they have solved the 'crime' and made an arrest, yet.

For the child who desperately needs to draw on walls (like my Marisa aka. Picasso), a wooden fence with some chalk is a good alternative because the child can draw on the 'wall' to her heart's content and then when it rains the chalk will wash away along with any evidence that anybody had ever drawn on the fence. Of course if your child happens to be like my Picasso, nothing will ever satisfy the insatiable need to draw on the walls - NOTHING! Sometimes a parent must know when she has been defeated by the inclinations of the child and just give in for the sake of sanity. (That would be me, by the way. You should see my walls....)