Drawing with Chalk

Table with stones, chalk and sugar paper.Last week was a fantastic week for weather so the ladies at toddler group decided to be outside again.  It was a good job I’d planned an activity that involved stones which helped keep the paper on the table as there was a slight breeze.

The plan was to get the children to draw round the stones and shells to make repeating patterns. I’d been reading up on drawing with early years and came across the notion of trying to slow the drawing movement down – we’ve all seen the child rush up to a piece of paper, grab a crayon and frenetically start scribbling away. Drawing round things means that the child has to make more considered movements.

Drawing round stones with chalkAnd it worked. The children made much slower, thoughtful movements on their paper. But, as always, the children also had their own ideas about what they should be doing. As well as drawing round the stones and shells they also coloured the stones and shells. Very pretty.

chalk covered stones and shellsLetting the Child Lead

One little girl was very pleased that she managed to cover her shell inside and out in red chalk. Once one started the rest had to colour their stones too. We then tried to see if we could print with chalk-covered stones. Well, as you’d expect, it wasn’t very successful but the important thing is we were playing and experimenting. We also tried smudging and blending the chalk.

'Wall' drawing made from repeating patterns

The Results

This activity didn’t hold the children for a long time but they enjoyed what they did. One little boy came back for another go.

One little girl declared, “Look I’ve made a wall.” And so she had. With her repeating pattern it could well have been part of a wall.


One mum drew her little girl an elephant to colour in. Wow! She was sooo neat considering she’s only three! She really thought about which colours to use where as well.

Chalks are a lovely medium to use on sugar paper. They don’t need a lot of pressure to leave a strong mark which is great for little ones.

Finally, a chalky tip for you: if you want to ‘fix’ the chalk to the paper one of the best things to use is cheap hairspray.

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