Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sidewalk Chalk - My Thoughts

So here's why I wanted to know how other moms felt about the stuff because well, I hate it. Maybe I'm a total freak about it and maybe hate is a strong word but I totally cringe when my kids want to use it.

See, in theory, I love the stuff. Entertainment for the kids, an artistic outlet, adorable pictures, and just fun to look at on the sidewalk. But the reality is way different.

1. I really don't like to use it because of my own weird sensory issues. I hate how the chalk dries out my fingers and hands within seconds and sometimes drawing on concrete gives me a shiver. I don't even like the smell of it. I'm weird. I know that.

2. Maybe it's easier with older kids, but little kids (or maybe it's just MY kids) ROLL in the stuff. I'm talking covered in chalk from head to toe when they are done. They don't care about avoiding a drawing and sit right in it. Which I guess is fine if it's the end of the day and bath time is drawing close but in the morning or afternoon when we have somewhere to go later??? NO! And then they track it into the house on the bottoms of their shoes and fingers - um, handprints on the wall on the way to the bathroom to wash up?!?!?!

3. They get hurt! My kids always end up scraping their fingers or hand when they are diligently drawing away since they are drawing on the rough concrete and haven't developed the ability to prevent scratching themselves all up while drawing at the same time. Ew. Blood and chalk are a gross combination.

However, we have a big tub of the Crayola chalks and we will continue to use them because the kids really do enjoy it. I won't take that away from them and I don't even mind the fact that the drawings stay there for weeks if we don't have rain. And while I enjoy playing hopscotch, snail or a variety of other games with the things you can draw with the chalk, I don't personally enjoy free drawing time since it always turns into a mess, but I will have to deal. Just don't expect to see my kids doing any sidewalk drawing before 6:30pm. Mommy just can't deal.


Erin said...

I'm with you.. love/hate relationship with it. (I hate touching it too!)

Ben rolls in it, Simon rolls in it AND eats it. But they both have fun with it and when you add in 11 other kids in the neighborhood, they really do have a ball and keep themselves busy. It almost always means it's a tubby night though, even it it wasn't scheduled to be a tubby night. ;) Both kids were head to toe blue the other night when I took when in. (sigh)

Katie said...

My SIL-L's sister, has issue with chalk too. She won't let her kids near it.

Emily is pretty neat & clean about using it. At age 2, she would sometimes sit down on a drawing, but nothing too messy. Now that she is 3, she usually only ends up with chalk dust on her hands. I do try to limit chalk use to the late afternoons so that we can jump right into the bath.

By the way, we have a "chalk holder" thing that holds the chalk for you so you can write without actually touching it. They are pretty useful that way.

Chalk is a necessity in our neighborhood. Everyone is always on the front steps or sidewalk, so it comes in handy.

We haven't had any scraping incidents either. I guess we are lucky that way??

BJ said...

You make very valid points! Sydney sits on it and doesn't seem to care so we have to know we have time for a bath and it is late enough that she can go straight into the bath.

H. said...

I guess those days are ahead of me....

Christine said...

Sorry I missed your first post...I never really formed an opinion about chalk. I'm with you on the weird feeling on your fingers, but so far my kids haven't gone so nutso with it so it hasn't bothered me. You have a very good plan of action with planning chalk time just before bedtime.