Outdoor Chalk Games

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Chalk games have been around for a long time but in this day and age of technology, we can forget how the simple game and quality family time can help with a child’s development. Try one of these fun outdoor activities this weekend!

 By Courtney Violet Bentley

Having a tough time getting your child to play outdoors? Worried they aren’t developing motor skills the way they should be? Exercise not only decreases the chance of your child being termed obese or developing Type 2 Diabetes but it’s also a wonderful teaching tool, one which can help to develop a child’s gross motor skills and keep them strong all at the same time.

In terms of motor skills, your child usually is able to coordinate the use of his or her arms before the use of the legs. The hardest coordination of course is moving both your arms and legs at the same time. While putting together these games think of ways to coordinate both the arms and legs into the games described below.

chalk hopskotchGame #1: Hopscotch

Dating back to the times of the Roman Empire, this old school game can be used to teach numbers, addition, subtraction and even work on core balance. The bilateral coordination of jumping from one box to the other, switching feet and trying not to step on the lines helps to develop the mind and body connection.

What You Need: Chalk and a sidewalk

To Play: Draw boxes and number as shown in the photo

Ways to Play: This all depends on the age of your child. Some children need to work on balancing so having them go through the squares on one foot and counting aloud may do the trick. As your kids age, it may be entertaining to ask them to hop from 1 to 3 without stepping on 2 or asking them to add the numbers up as they jump on them. With a 10 square basic base that you can draw on your sidewalk, you and your family can hop your way through the day.

Game #2: Lily Padchalk lily pad

Lilly pad is a fun way to practice balance as well as coordination.

What You Need: Colorful chalk, a sidewalk and rocks

To Play: Draw lily pads in different colors all over as shown in the photo

Ways to Play: Depending on your child’s age, there are a few ways to play. You can simply have them hop around collecting rocks or in this case “flies” and have them hop over to you bringing all of their flies with them when they have collected them all. If your child is older, you can have them hop to a color of your choice on one foot to collect those flies and do the same on the other foot to work on balance and bilateral coordination skills.

Just For Fun: Acting like a frog while jumping is entertaining for everyone involved! Make it fun by “ribbiting” throughout the game!

chalk water balloon targetGame #3: Water Balloon Toss

Throwing water balloons is a great way to work on hand and eye coordination. Having to aim the water balloon at a specific target will trigger your child’s mind to work in unison with the body and stretch the arms flexibility and strength.

What You Need: Water balloons, chalk and a sidewalk

To Play: Draw a bulls eye with different point values as shown in the photo

Ways to Play: You can draw the bulls eye as large or as small as you would like. Keep the points in a range to make your little one add up the numbers along the way.

This is a fun game to play in the summertime when the sun is shining bright and a cooling splash is necessary.

With these three chalk games you are sure to get your little one to head outdoors and play in the name of fun without realizing they are working on their gross motor skills!

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