As part of our Toddler Time at Home program sponsored by First 5 San Diego, we’re making chalk paint you can use outdoor with your little ones! Using simple household items, you can create your own chalk paint! This is great for toddlers as they can explore and experiment with mixing colors and making their own chalk art. Watch the video below for a tutorial on how to do chalk painting at home.

This blog post was originally published on July 23, 2020. 


Chalk Painting

AGE: 2-5 (with adult support)

TIME FRAME: 30 minutes – 1 hour


  • 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Few Drops of Food Coloring
  • Plastic Cups
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paper Towel


1. Mix the corn starch and water in a plastic cup at a 1:1 ratio. We did 1/2 cup of each. Then stir your mixture.

2. Add 4-5 drops of food coloring into your cup and mix as you go. Experiment with mixing colors and let your little one explore.

3. Repeat to make as many chalk paint colors as you would like.

4. Have fun painting on the ground outside! These chalk paints are great on the ground and easy to clean with a wet paper towel when you’re done.

Toddler to Transitional Kindergarten Learning Connections

Early learners (ages 2 – 5) enjoy painting and activities like this that allow them to get creative, physical and messy all at the same time. These activities are also a way for early learners to use their senses, to explore color and process and to test outcomes. To further increase the learning opportunities while painting together, consider incorporating one or more of the ideas below.

Make a Mark
Art making for early learners is exploratory and experimental. There’s no need to make anything in particular. They learn so much by just testing and trying out tools and by watching you! Demonstrate marks and shapes to them while also encouraging your early learner to explore the different marks they can make with their brush or through other means (maybe even their fingers).

Color Mixing
It’s never too early to teach your early learner about color and how colors are made. Talking about colors, pointing them out in their environment, using color names and exploring together with art materials on what happens when colors are combined are all great ways to introduce simple color theory to your early learner. If able, encourage them to point out the discoveries they are making.

Share a Story!
Reading is a wonderful vehicle for learning and for introducing new ideas to early learners. Select any engaging and age-appropriate books that explore color. Read them together with your child before or after the chalk paint activity.

Recommended Related Reading (Ages 2 – 5):

  • Of Colors and Things by Tana Holban
  • Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Preschool Learning Foundations Standards (Visual Arts and Social Emotional Learning)

Age 48 months:

  • Create marks with crayons, paint and chalk and then identify them; mold and build with dough and clay and then identify them.
  • Begin to recognize and name materials and tools used for visual arts.
  • Enjoy learning and are confident in their abilities to make new discoveries although may not persist at solving difficult problems.

Age 60 months

  • Begin to plan art and show increasing interest and persistence in completing it.
  • Recognize and name materials and tools used for visual arts.

This Toddler Time at Home is sponsored by

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