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Sidewalk Chalk is Evil

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Guest blogger Karyn Bryant: Usually, the thought of a chalk outline on the ground is upsetting. But nothing would make me happier than to discover a chalk outline on my sidewalk filled, ironically, with sidewalk chalk. I don't know if there is a toy I hate more than this life-sucking abomination.

kids drawing with sidewalk chalk

Sure, those sidewalk Monets and Matisses I've seen at street festivals are amazing, but my 2 ½-year-old kid is more of a sidewalk Messmaker. And she probably will be for a long time. She has an uncanny knack for dragging her butt through the most chalk-saturated areas, and then she does some sort of breakdancing thing wherein every inch of clothing gets a good, solid grinding-in of chalk. Are we having fun yet?

Another reason I detest this "toy" is that I am a terrible sketch artist. My decoupage skills would make Martha Stewart weep: but in terms of drawing, my repertoire consists of suns, stars, smiley faces and fish. And by fish I mean the ones where you don't lift the chalk and you draw an oval with a triangle on the end. It's pathetic. Guess what? Thanks to sidewalk chalk, everyone in the neighborhood now knows I'm lame, too.

The worst part? The fact that every time I hold a piece of chalk I feel as if my hands age at least three years. Every ounce of moisture is leeched from my body, never to return no matter what lotion or potion I try. Yes, I know they have chalk holders, but I'm not fooled. Sidewalk chalk is evil and it will find a way to destroy me.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
leelee February 15, 2009, 11:00 AM

This just shows how every opinion is different. I totally disagree and make sure my boys always have plenty in stock to share with neighbors and friends too. I LOVE it and love seeing what the kiddos create! Sorry you feel that way. We aren’t all artists true, but you don’t have to do the drawing and your little one should wear “play” cloths that can get ground in and have no worries of ruining. Good luck to you and I hope your little one finds something else artistic to do that you can appreicate as well.

carrie February 15, 2009, 12:42 PM

I love keeps the kids so busy and when there done all we have to do is hose down the sidewalk and its clean.

anony February 15, 2009, 2:45 PM

When my kids were little enough to use sidewalk chalk I loved it… It was good, safe fun …. Now my kids are teens and somedays I wish they were out on the front sidewalk drawing away instead of playing those damn video games. So I say don’t hate the chalk, Love and cherish those moment while you’ve got’em. Oh and btw, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler but I still enjoyed getting out there and playing with my kids. If you are worried about your neighbors judging your sidewalk-chalk-art then you’ve got some issues to work out…………. Oh and I gotta agree with LeeLee … be sure to designate some clothes for play that can get dirty for your kid and might I suggest for yourself too. Then get out there, get dirty and have some FUN!

Laura February 15, 2009, 4:25 PM

I’m with the other commenters… I LOVE it! :)

Chrissy February 16, 2009, 12:18 AM

This blogger is more concerned with the neighbors knowing she a bad drawer and dry hands than with her child’s fun and creativity - tad bit self involved.

Anonymous February 16, 2009, 11:20 AM

Let’s see if we can find non-artistic things to do with sidewalk chalk. Hopscotch. Fun way to study spelling words. Make a racetrack for Matchbox cars. Trace your kid’s bodies and let them design their own chalk-clothes. Make a “welcome home, daddy!” sign, complete with spelling mistakes and tons of hearts. Try those things and your neighbors will be impressed because you’re an involved, hands-on mom with happy kids who enjoy being outdoors. And relax. The whole world isn’t judging you or your artwork. I thought egocentrism ended in adolescence.

shelley March 15, 2009, 11:29 PM

since hearing about the lead-poisoning recall back in 2003— the stuff gives me the heeby jeeby’s for children’s so called ‘fun’.

Ju March 22, 2009, 8:14 PM

Never got to play with the stuff growing up(military installations frown on that in their housing areas, at least where I was). Instead, I gave all my pretty notebooks that were going to waste, my gel-ink pens, crayons, colored pens (of course, some found its way to the walls, grrr) but I give her an endless supply to draw on and with. I’ve kept some, threw away others. We draw together, sometimes she’ll ask for letters or pictures for me to draw and then she’ll color. It’s fun, it’s wonderful and I’ll cry when her drawings become recognisable because that means my little Chibi is growing up. This mom should really look at that and not care what the neighbors think, it should be about the children’s fun, after all.

Pzlsxmdd June 25, 2009, 2:33 PM

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