Prep: 2-3 Minutes / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

This simple, self-directed drawing activity will help your child develop the skills needed for later writing success. Allow your child to explore a variety of materials that support early writing skills.

  • large pieces of colored chalk (sidewalk chalk works best for little hands)
  • large pieces of colored construction paper (or, take the activity outside and draw on the sidewalk)
  • small bowl of milk (if using construction paper) or water (if drawing on the sidewalk)

Step 1: Gather a variety of colored pieces of chalk and colored construction paper. Optional: Provide a small bowl of milk for your child to dip the chalk in before he begins to draw. The milk will prevent the chalk dust from coming off the paper, so there is less mess.

If you want to do this activity outside, take your little one to the sidewalk or another concrete area. Provide chalk and a bowl with water. Dipping the chalk in water will make the color brighter.  

Step 2:  Pick out a piece of paper and some chalk to draw with. Ask your toddler to do the same.  Begin drawing on the paper, making lines, circles, shapes, and scribbles. Encourage your child to start drawing with the chalk. 

If you’re doing this activity outside, simply sit down on the concrete and begin drawing.

Step 3: Talk with your child about his drawing. You might say:

  • Tell me about your drawing.
  • You’re working hard! Can you tell me what this is? 
  • Wow, you are making straight lines and curved lines!
  • That looks like you made your letter C, for Christopher.

Step 4:  Follow your child’s lead and interest level. When he is ready to clean up, ask him where he would like to hang his picture. Tape his picture up and revisit it with him later to talk about his efforts. If you and your child did the activity outside, you might take a picture of his drawing to talk about later.