What is Sidewalk Chalk Made of and How to Use it?

Chalk is the writing tool that each of us has used at least once in our early childhood, whether for learning the ABC or creating artwork. But the sidewalk chalk is another popular type of it used for creating street art.

Sidewalk chalk can be used for many purposes, such as drawing on the concrete sidewalks, pavement, hopscotch boards, or four-square courts. It’s mainly used in the outdoors.

The best part about this chalk is that you can wash them out easily. It’s also easy to find in most local stores and can be easily bought online too.

But you might be wondering what sidewalk chalk is made of and how to use it! If yes, then this article is for you.

Here you’ll get to know about the street chalk in detail and some tips on making the most out of it!

What is Sidewalk Chalk

What is Sidewalk Chalk Actually?

Sidewalk chalk is a type of paint or chalking material that comes in the form of small pieces. It’s mainly used to create street art, murals, and drawings on asphalt pavement for temporary display purposes.

In the early 16th century in Europe, the art of street painting started. During different festivals and holiday seasons, vagabond artists used to travel from one place to another and decorate different public spaces with chalks, charcoal, and broken tiles. [source]

From their love of street arts, sidewalk chalk was invented later on, and its main component is the Plaster of Paris. It is a type of chalk made for drawing outside. You can also write different words on the sidewalk using it.

They are usually sold as sticks or bars. They’re often brightly colored, and, unlike traditional school classroom-style pencils, they’re resistant to moisture and rain.

What is Sidewalk Chalk Made of?

There is a similarity between the materials of blackboard chalk and sidewalk chalk. Both of them were originally made from sedimentary rock (a form of soft limestone). But nowadays, modern blackboard chalk is made of Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4) rather than natural chalk.

However, the chalkboard chalks are traditionally composed of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). When further pressure is given to this sedimentary rock, it becomes soft limestone. And then it allows you to draw on the streets. [1]

In this modern era, street chalks are mainly made of Plaster of Paris, powdered tempera paint, and water. It usually consists of gypsum powder mixed with water, clay materials, dyes, or pigments for coloring and plasticizers as added ingredients depending upon various brands.

Some sidewalk chalks also contain silica, sulfur, phosphorus, copper, fluorine, iron, strontium, alumina, sodium oxide, manganese, calcium sulfate, titanium, and arsenic.

How to Use Sidewalk Chalk Sticks

The sidewalk chalks are used as an outdoor art tool, but they have many other uses, such as drawing hopscotch lines in sidewalk chalk games.

You may even want to use it when playing “capture the flag” by dividing into two teams and giving each group their own side of street chalk court to protect from opponents’ capture. The possibilities are endless!

However, for making your kid’s long summer days go fast, grab them a set of multicolor street chalks. Think of what they can’t do using sidewalk chalks. Using them is so much easy and more fun. That’s why it’s one of the best art supplies for kids. Among lots of activities, here you’ll find only a few that both adults and children will enjoy!

1. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a popular game among children. And parents also encourage them to play it as it helps a lot in learning numbers. For playing this game outside, you can use any flat surface you want: sidewalk, driveway, ground, front lawn – wherever!!

So, just grab those chalks and draw lines and boxes and start playing the classic game Hopscotch!

2. Alphabet Grid

Just like the Hopscotch, by creating Alphabet Grid, your kids will be able to learn alphabets quicker than ever. Let your kids draw the boxes or help them out and then write all the letters.

Now, play with them to check how much they have learned so far. Even your kids won’t be able to figure out that you were testing them.

3. Checkers Game

Checkers is another fun game that both kids and adults can play. The court of this game looks similar to a Chess court. But the rule is different and easier for kids. Making the court with street chalks and playing it outside is more fun.

You can also bring sidewalk chalk to your next family game night. Create different boards and place them on the ground for a group of people to play, like how you would with Checkers or Chess.

4. Tic Tac Toe

Maybe none ever played Tic Tac Toe. This game is as old and famous as it can be. It all started with a variation of this classic game in the form of sidewalk chalk games.

All you need for that is sidewalk chalk, two players, and an empty sidewalk or other flat surfaces. Draw lines down each column to separate them into nine squares. Then start playing using chalk marks just like you used to play it on paper.

5. Dots and Lines

Dots and lines is another fun game to play. Here two players start the game with an empty grid. Then each one draws vertical and horizontal lines to make boxes. The player wins with the most box they make. And playing it outdoor with the street chalk is fun indeed.

Our Recommendation

As there are so many brands out there offering sidewalk chalks, it may be difficult for you to choose any one of them. Keeping that thing in mind, we’ll give you a hand with our recommendation. It’ll save both of your time and energy.

Chalk City Sidewalk Chalk- Overall Best

Check it on amazon.com

This jumbo-sized sidewalk chalk from Chalk City can fulfill all your needs. Children and adults of all ages can use it to flow their creativity. Think of what you won’t get in this chalk set.

Each of the chalk is 4 inches long, which allows you to hold it easily. It has come up with 20 pieces of 7 vivid colors.

These solid pieces are strong enough that they won’t break too quickly if you put pressure on them. And the tapered shape prevents it from rolling off the surface.

This set is made with a special formulation that is non-toxic, washable, and kids friendly. It is as safe as homemade sidewalk chalk. Luckily, you’ll get a storage box with a lid and handle for easy organization and transportation.

Whether you want to add some color to your sidewalk, driveway, playground, or anywhere, it’s a perfect tool. Since it creates less dust, you can use it safely both indoor and outdoor.


Q: Is there a difference between chalk and sidewalk chalk?

There are some differences between regular blackboard chalk and sidewalk chalk. First of all, their look is different.

Chalkboard chalk or blackboard chalk is 3.15 inches long, and the diameter is approximately 0.35 inches. The American National Standards Institute sets it as the standards chalk size for using classrooms.

On the other hand, sidewalk chalk is larger and thicker in size compared to regular chalks. Classroom chalks typically come in white color, but street chalk comes in a wide range of colors, mainly used for outdoor art activities.

So, their purpose of use is also different. In terms of ingredients, both of them were primarily made with Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), according to Earth Science Picture of the Day’s website. [2]

But nowadays, blackboard chalks are made with Calcium Sulphate, and street chalks are made with Plaster of Paris and gypsum, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

So, now you may have got the differences between the two, I guess.

Q: Can you make your own sidewalk chalk?

Since the main ingredient of street chalk is the Plaster of Paris, people may think it’s difficult to make it home.

But luckily, you can make chalk at home without Plaster of Paris, using the common household items.

You’ll find a complete guideline on how to make sidewalk chalk at home on our website. By following those methods, you can easily make your own chalk.

Q: Can sidewalk chalk be removed from wall?

Most of the chalks that are made for outdoor use are washable. Over time the chalk art fades away and vanishes eventually. But if you find any chalk art on your painted wall and want to take immediate action, you have to follow some steps.

First of all, take a wet cloth and gently rub over the stain in a circular motion. While doing this process, try to take out as much stain as possible. 

Then get some soapy water and use a soft scrub and damp sponge to remove the leftover chalk stain on the wall. Again rub in a circular motion over the stain gently and finally rinse with water.

However, it’s not guaranteed for all types of chalks and brands as different brands use different materials in their products.

So, I always recommend testing the procedure on an inconspicuous area before working on the main stain.

Q: Is sidewalk chalk edible?

You can use sidewalk chalk for many purposes but not for eating. It’s a good idea to keep sidewalk chalks away from children.

These are made with Plaster of Paris, which is poisonous if consumed and could cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Eating chalk can disrupt your digestive system and also cause other internal problems like forming kidney stones. So, don’t consume it at all and keep it away from kids too.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have found this article helpful in getting more knowledge about how to use sidewalk chalk and what they are made of.

So, go ahead and start drawing on your sidewalk today. As you create a masterpiece for everyone to admire, make sure that the sidewalk is as clean as possible before you begin.

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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