Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Chalk

We are making lots of homemade gifts for our cousins this year! It's a perfect way to get the kids in the spirit of giving! It's also a fun way to involve them in a science experiment which will result in something more than a puddle of mush that will be washed down the drain. The kids have helped me make chalk in the past and are fascinated by how quickly they solidify. However, since these chalks really are "giant" sized, they took a little bit longer to completely dry out. I'm pretty certain it was because we added slightly too much water, but by the next day it didn't even matter. I will definitely be using this method the next time we make these because they came out absolutely perfect!


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In a child's hand, these look HUGE! Seriously. And it's pretty fantastic. My daughter even pointed out how much more she would be able to colour with them. I can't say for sure that they will last longer, but I assume so. 

You'll need:
Paper towel or toiler paper rolls
Wax paper
Acrylic paint in various colours (we used purple, green, orange, blue, yellow and red)
Water


We started out by saving a few paper rolls. These are about 5 or 6 inches long.


We taped wax paper to the bottom of them, but other people have used duct tape or any wide tape would probably work. We also lined the inside of the paper rolls with wax paper. This will help to keep the chalk from sticking to the paper. Peeling everything off when they are dry is super easy!


If you have older kids, you can mix the Plaster of Paris (following the directions on the package) in a plastic container with a plastic spoon. But we actually prefer mixing it together in a Ziploc bag because it makes for easy pouring - just snip off a corner and pour! Pour in the Plaster of Paris and then the water. Close up the Ziploc and shake it up very carefully! It mixes together very easily. Then add in the acrylic paint and mix it up again. It's then ready to pour into whatever container you are using to shape your chalk. For a much smaller mold, it would only take 20-30 minutes to harden, but I'd give these giant chalks a few days to harden before removing the rolls and wax paper (we waited 2 days).


The colours are nice pastels! We had a little bit extra yellow, so we added it on top of the blue chalk.


To keep these standing upright and let's face it, saving them from being knocked over, I stored them in a container where they could dry safely. The container can also be used to store them when you gift them.


After two days I peeled off the paper and wax and checked them out. They were dry and perfect! Notice all the air bubbles on the yellow chalk? That can be avoided by tapping the paper gently when it is still wet. Clearly I forgot that one. :)


These giant chalks are so simple to make and will be the perfect gift for our young cousins! I can't wait to see their reactions when they open them up! I really hope they love them and I can't wait to see them colour with them!

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