Fun for a Buck: Sidewalk Chalk

Fun for a Buck

Sometimes the cheap toys prove to be the best investments!

Just $1 for simple fun on the back patio,…


a concrete canvas for imagination,…


while carrying on conversations…


And creatively making a mess out of clean jeans.


To admire a finished masterpiece.  


Hopefully I’ll be sharing more “Fun for a Buck” ideas in future posts, but for now it’s your turn:  What’s your favorite “Fun for a Buck” activity?


This post is part of the Real Life link up.

30 thoughts on "Fun for a Buck: Sidewalk Chalk"

  1. Bubbles! We keep bubbles and a variety bucket of wands on hands at all times.

  2. Trish says:

    Our favorite "Fun for a buck" is bubbles. All of the kids (ages 10, 5, & 2) love to blow, chase and pop bubbles. We use them outside when the weather is nice and we use them in the bathtub year-round.

    Another favorite hot weather activity that is basically free is "painting" the house & patio. I give each of the kids a big paintbush and a bowl of water. They love to paint and then watch it dry and start over.


  3. me blowing bubbles & my 5yr old son chasing them in the backyard. Chalk follows as a close second.

  4. Jamie says:

    Bubbles are great as well!

  5. Laura says:

    Bubbles!!! Another fun outside activity, I give my girls a bucket of water with just a little dish soap in it and let them wash their playhouse. Hours of fun for them, and free!!!

  6. Nikki says:

    Our fun for a buck is the giant stick bubbles. We found them at Wal-Mart for $1.

  7. yay for sidewalk chalk! can't wait to see some of your other "for a buck" ideas! our favorite thing with sidewalk chalk right now is laying on the driveway and tracing around them. such fun!

  8. Kelly says:

    Sidewalk chalk, bubbles and playing with a hose (when it's warm!)

  9. Chrissiebear says:

    I guess I'm not alone in the Bubbles department! Another one is Balls! We love to kick balls around the backyard, or basement, or living room…. sigh, I think I have a tomboy on my hands 🙂

  10. Krystyn says:

    Yep, they all said it…bubbles. Cheap and easy fun.

    The baby pools are good, too, but require a lot more attention.

  11. naomimarcus says:

    When I was a kid, my siblings and I used to 'paint' with water on the concrete. On hot days it used to fascinate us that by the time we had finished a masterpiece, most of it had evaporated already.
    We used cheap paintbrushes as the bristles get ruined with being mashed into the ground, and full of grit.

    It was a lot more fun than it sounds!

  12. Kim says:

    cutting construction paper (or any scrap paper we have laying around!) & using a glue stick to glue the pieces to a paper plate, brown bag, computer paper…

    also dying pasta various colors w/a mixture of rubbing alcohol & food coloring and gluing onto various "canvases".

    playing with rice…pour rice into a rectangular cake pan or jelly roll pan, add toy cars & spoons for "digging"…(messy, but fun!)

    tape a piece of contact paper onto a sliding glass door (sticky side facing out) & let kids stick on foam shapes, papers they cut or colored pasta. kept my kids occupied for quite awhile when they were younger!

  13. TripleThreat says:

    #1 Paint brush and bucket of water. The kids "paint" everything: playhouse, swingset, fence, etc.

    #2 Glowsticks: They really entertain them on long drives home from Ohio (at night of course)

    #3 Squishy-stretchy bugs/amphibians/reptiles – You can buy a whole pack for $1 at Walmart and the kids like to take care of the little frogs. I think they like the texture and the fact you can stretch out their legs

    #4 A roadtrip to the Dollar Store – Give them a dollar and see what they buy.

    Hmmm…I know I have more.

    Linda R. and crew

  14. Mamma Sol says:

    I agree with the bubbles. Also, I have a recipe for making home made play dough which makes it exceptionally cheap – and it lasts forever (or until the colours are all mixed together into one huge greyish lump). I also decorated the girls' room with some blackboard wall stickers, which means we get to play with chalk when the weather outside is …Norwegian. If it really is OK to go outside, then the sand box is a huge hit. We have a good playground just outside our door with space to roam, kick a ball, or bike around, a sand box, a swing set and the "regular stuff". I love it. For indoors cheap play, I sometimes just fill a small bowl with water, cover the bathroom floor with towels, and give them some Little People or My Little Pony to "bathe".

  15. Erin says:

    dart guns from the dollar store are one of my boys favs…other than chalk and bubbles ofcourse! ohh and a frisbee! easy, fun, and cheap is my motto! hope ya'll are having a great tuesday~
    much love and blessings from ga~erin

  16. Kiki says:

    Squirt guns! The little ones are cheap, $1 or less. My guys like to spray each other and they will also "wash" the windows for a good amount of time!

    I haven't commented in a long time or maybe never, but how about those Bulldogs! My sister went to Butler.

  17. Mama Llama says:

    I love giving my kiddos 1 dollar and taking them to the dollar store and letting them each pic out anything they want (in the toy knives or cleaning supplies!)

    We have also taken them and had them each pic something for the other person, which is fun to see what they would pick for the sibling.

    It's great when 1 dollar can entertain the fam!

  18. Anonymous says:

    bubbles and my son likes to play in the rocks with his dump truck.

  19. Gail says:

    Yes, I agree with a bucket of water and some paint brushes. These kept the neighborhood kids and my kids busy for hours during the nice weather.

  20. Anonymous says:

    When I was little my mom would go to Sears every summer and get a washer/dryer box. My siblings and I would sit in it for hours "wallpapering" it with old magazine pages.

  21. Twin Musings says:

    Bubbles, I concur with everyone else 🙂

    Also, bubble baths, wagon rides to the playground, tickle fights, singing and dancing together, peek-a-boo…maybe that last one is only applicable for kids under 2 though! 🙂

  22. MaryBeth says:

    My girls favorite warm weather fun is painting with water. We also really like having dance parties, and playdough is a favorite rainy day fun activity. We made a batch of the homemade stuff colored with Kool-aid today…. the girls thought it was the greatest thing ever!!

  23. Julia says:

    If sidewalk chalk loses its charm, try mixing corn starch, water, and food coloring for sidewalk PAINT. Add the water slowly to the corn starch and stir vigorously until you get the right consistency. Is fun with fingers and/or old paint brushes.

  24. thegypsymama says:

    Just bought some this afternoon – but am now wishing I'd got it somewhere else where it would only have cost a buck!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Most of my thoughts have been said already, but wanted to add to the water painting thing. A squirt bottle w/a mist sprayer can definitely add to the painting fun on the concrete. Good for abstract art. 🙂

  26. Brandi says:

    Can just going to the dollar store be on my fun list? We have two great ones near us and I never leave without something… 🙂

    My last trip to the dollar store netted a 16 pack of sidewalk chalk, bubbles, pinwheels, water guns, super soaker balls, crayons, a coloring book, and a super nice name brand whitebaord & marker for each of the kids.

    One of the kids' all time favorites from the dollar store were the create your own mugs. They LOVE them. They always want to make a new design for their cup for the day and point out to every stranger in earshot they they did it. 🙂

  27. Anne Schrader says:

    I have a smallish rubbermaid tote that contains our indoor "sandbox". When we were little, our grandma had one full of cornmeal… we'd push matchbox cars around in it, fill cups & dump it out, pretend we were cooking, etc.

    Ours currently is full of lentils (yes, beans). Much less messy than cornmeal, but same idea. I give the kids measuring cups & spoons, a funnel, etc. and they play for hours! My 6-year-old has learned some measurements from it (like "if I dump this 1/4 cup into the 1 cup 4 times, it fills it up!"), so it's fun AND educational.

  28. Jendi says:

    My first thought was bubbles…obviously that one is way out in left field and rarely thought of so…
    How 'bout a plastic shovel & bucket with a pile of dirt?

    I really came to comment to say that I love sidewalk chalk! You can do so much with it! Educational or just plain fun. Love messages & silly faces. Great stuff for sure.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Something fun and inexpensive that I let my grandson do when he comes over…..he makes "explosions"! Just take a big bowl, give them a box of baking soda, a spoon and a bottle of plain clear vinegar…..pour alittle baking soda into the bowl, add vinegar and watch it "erupt", it fizzes and sizzles and he calls it an "explosion", and he just keeps repeating it over and over but keeps him entertained for a good hour! I buy the soda (often they have it 3 boxes for a dollar) and vinegar from the dollar store so inexpensive, pour it down the drain when you're done so cleaning the drain too. Patricksnona in Chicago 🙂

  30. Mel says:

    Ohhh, this series is so cute. I don't know if it's QUITE a buck, but my mom used to make us homemade playdough. We would use food coloring to make it all sorts of different colors, then play with it!

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