Looking for a fun new way to take photos, or just want something exciting to get your kids outside? Have your kids create and illustrate a story on the back porch using sidewalk chalk and themselves. This project is a ton of fun, and requires very little adult supervision so your kids can make it completely their own. It's a great way for best friends or siblings to create memories and photographs that will be adored for many years.
For this project the only material you really need is sidewalk chalk and some pavement. But since half the fun is documenting your creations and enjoying them long term, you'll probably want a camera to photograph them. We also suggest paper and some colored pencils to help with planning your story.
Planning The Story
If you're going to create a story, it's a good idea to plan out your drawings before you grab the chalk. This is a great way to make sure everyone is communicating and to work out your design ideas before committing to a giant cement canvas! Don't worry about making perfect drawings, just sketch it out so everyone knows the plan.
Once you have solidified your ideas, you can pull out the chalk and start drawing! Lay your models down on the ground before you begin so you know how large your drawings need to be. Create guidelines with a few light strokes of chalk to help you remember.
Find A Magic Bean
When you drawings are finished, pose your models and start photographing. Unless you are very tall, you may need a step stool to get high enough above the image area to fit everything in the photograph. Make sure you have someone to spot you so you don't fall!
Plant And Water
To pose your models have them lay on the ground on their sides and take the same positions they would while standing up. If they would be crouching on the ground, have them bend their knees up and place their feet in the chalk "grass." Experiment with different poses and photograph them all. You can decide what works best when you look at the finished photos later.
Your models don't always have to be fully in the frame. Including closeups of hands, feet and faces can tell a story just as well as full body shots. Let the drawings do most of the talking in some photos, and let the models take center stage in others.
Climbing The Beanstalk
If you're having trouble creating the perfect story, try modifying one that you already know. Stories with large size differences are especially fun, so consider fairy tales like "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Thumbelina." Or just let your kids' imaginations run wild, you never know what they will come up with.
Dancing Among Flowers
If you have a large area of pavement you can create all your drawings at once. If you have a smaller space, simply wash your drawings off with a garden hose before drawing the next one. Be sure to let the pavement dry before starting your next drawing, most sidewalk chalk doesn't stick to we pavement.
Reaching For A Ride
If you can, create your sidewalk drawings in the shade or on a cloudy day. Not only will this keep everyone from getting sunburned, your photos will turn out better without bright highlights and harsh shadows.
Fly Away Home
Remember to have fun while you're drawing and photographing.
Once your drawings are finished and photographed, you can create a beautiful keepsake by printing your photos out. Add them to a scrapbook, frame them or bind them in a book with a few words to tell your story. Or have your favorite local or only printing company make a book for you.
Framed And Finished
Final printed photos make beautiful gifts for parents, grandparents and friends. Give them for grandparents day, save them for Christmas presents, or give them anytime for a cherished "just because" present.