When I was a young boy (I am NOT going to tell you my age!), staying outside during the summer from 9am until dinnertime at 5pm was the norm. There were all kinds of things us kids would get up to. Water fights, catching bugs, bike rides and other activities dominated our days. There was one activity that my parents always encouraged me to do and that was draw on the driveway with my sidewalk chalk.
Now I’m no artist. I’m serious. I can barely draw a smiley face. As a child though I thought I was the greatest artist that ever lived! Of course my parents encouraged me and praised my exceptional drawing skills. I know now they were of course being polite. I know this because my dad told me the other day I was just awful at drawing. I’m ok with it I swear.
Even though I was lacking the artistic flair that some of my friends had I do remember it was a lot of fun. We could spend hours creating entire worlds with just chalk and our imaginations. Not just worlds but games too. Hop scotch and five square were some of our favourites but there were countless others. Below I have listed a few games with the rules in hopes that it jogs a memory and encourages you to share with the younger generation.
Traditionally played using five city-sidewalk squares, our version can be played on a level driveway or in a garage, too.
- Mark off five large squares in a row (about one grown-up “giant step” in length each) and number them from 1 to 5.
- Players stand at opposite ends of the course.
- The first player throws a ball so that it bounces once in the square farthest away. If the ball doesn’t bounce in that square, touches the edges, or is caught by the other player after it bounces, the first player’s turn is over.
- If the first player is successful, he or she has another turn and tries to throw the ball so it bounces once in the fourth square and once in the fifth square (without touching the edges or being caught). If successful, the player then throws the ball so it bounces in the third, fourth, and fifth square.
- The first player to bounce the ball into all five squares without being caught wins.
This one is super simple! One of the children lay down on the driveway while the other one traces a line around their body. Once all of the children have had their outline traced they can all colour it in however they want!
This is another simple but fun game. On the driveway, draw out a bulls eye with several rings. Put a different point total in each ring. These can be any numbers the kids want. Fill up some water balloons, three per child. Once the balloons are full have the children stand 10’ away and toss the balloons at the bulls eye. The child with the highest score wins! A good tip is to make more than the 3 balloons as the kids will probably end up throwing them at each other!
To play, draw the board on the sidewalk with chalk, alternating double with single squares and giving each a number. Toss a pebble onto square one. Hop over square one and on through to the end. Turn around and hop back, pausing in square two to pick up your pebble. Keep going until you get to the end of the board.
The fun that can be had with sidewalk chalk is limitless. There are countless games to be played and many more that have yet to be created.
Stop by your local London Drugs and pick up some sidewalk chalk. You never know, your inner artist may come out!
Assistant Store Manager – St Vital