Frugal Fun With Chalk

As soon as the cold air leaves the area, and the warm sunshine is a more common occurrence, my children are outside with chalk in hand, drawing elaborate pictures on our driveway, roads and buildings, messages on our sidewalks, and coloring rocks and bricks with chalk. There are so many frugal things to do in the summer, and this is one of them.

However, just since the month of March, when we had our first warm week, we have gone through about eight buckets of chalk. That’s more than a hundred pieces of chalk. And it was starting to add up.

Until a few weeks ago, we decided to try a family project. We made our own chalk together. We tried four different recipes, and found the one that worked the very best, happened to be the one I used with my co-teacher, when I was still teaching preschool. The recipe’s end result was the most similar to what the kids were used to using on our driveways.

While chalk is fairly inexpensive, if you purchase it at discount chain stores, it can still add up, when you are buying as much as we were. With five children, four of which are avid chalk users, one bucket of chalk only lasts about a week. In addition, we seem to often supply the chalk for several neighborhood kids too. We needed an alternative, and we found it.

But don’t let the adults have all the fun. Allow your children to join in, and have fun making chalk. You can use different molds to get different shapes, or you can just use a simple mold. We used our ice cube trays that we have for water bottles. They create a long, slender ice cube to fit right inside a standard water bottle, and were perfect for our chalk making project. However we have also used muffin pans, and other odd items around the home. Some people enjoy the use of paper towel tubes, but we found that the end resulting chalk was really too fat to comfortably draw with, and additionally they took a lot of time to dry.

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