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Sidewalk Chalk Pops


The dog days of summer have hit! If you’ve got big and little children at home, here’s a project to keep all of them from saying, “I’m bored.”

We found this on Project Nursery and love the cleverness of a chalk popsicle. Here’s some pro tips they give before you begin:

1. Do not put Plaster of Paris down your drain! It will harden in your pipes and cause damage. We are using disposable cups and spoons for this reason. You can rinse very small amounts off your measuring cups and such, but get the majority of the excess (wet or dry) in the trash can.

2. This can be messy. They recommend doing it outside and using larger plastic cups than they used.

3. Cold water means between 40-50º F. Chill enough water in your fridge for 30 minutes prior to starting.

3. Tempera paint is egg-based and non-toxic, but Plaster of Paris should not be ingested. Older children may help with the mixing, but little ones probably shouldn’t.

4. The following measurements were enough for a Wilton Brownie Pop Mold. You may have to adjust your volumes for different silicone molds.

Here's what you'll need:

Now let’s roll up our sleeves and make some chalk pops!

1. Begin by cutting down craft sticks to about 3″ long.

2. You will need one plastic cup for each color you wish to make. Fill each plastic cup with 1/3 cup cold water.

3. Add 2 Tablespoons of tempera paint to each plastic cup. Use your plastic spoons to gently stir the water and paint together. Don’t worry if it remains a little chunky or separated—it will smooth out in the next step.

4. Add 2/3 cup Plaster of Paris to each plastic cup. This is where it gets messy and why you may need larger plastic cups. Stir until thoroughly combined. Ideally, your mixture will have the consistency of thin yogurt.

5. Carefully pour your colors into the silicone mold. Gently tap the mold on your work surface to release any air bubbles. After two minutes, the plaster will begin to firm up.

6. Insert your craft sticks (cut side down) into the middle of the chalk “pops.” They should be easy to place without having to push hard or hold them up.

7. Setting them out in the hot sun to cure them quickly. After an hour, you will be able to carefully remove them from the mold. Leave them in the sun to continue drying. In 24 hours, they should be completely dry and ready for sidewalk art!

While you wait for them to dry, here’s a book recommendation to inspire your little artists.

An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.”

Child Development Program is a nursery and preschool in uptown New Orleans for children ages six weeks through pre-k 4.

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