My kids love to use chalk. I wanted to see if I could sneak some hidden learning in with their chalk art time– specifically science. By pairing chalk and water, I set up an easy evaporation observation experience for my toddlers and preschooler.
First create “art frames” with duct tape on the sidewalk or driveway. This serves two purposes. I wanted my girls to work on filling a space with a design (rather than a scribble here and then 3 ft. later another scribble.) It is also the boundary lines for where we spray the water in the next steps.
After the designs are complete, hand each child a spray bottle. Have them spray their art piece with water. Watch how some colors blend while others seem to disappear. Make sure the complete frame is sprayed with water.
My girls noticed how the water made the sidewalk darker. At this point we went in for lunch. Later we came back out to see our wet chalk art creations— but they weren’t wet anymore! Where did the water go? This lead into a nice discussion about evaporation. Evaporation is a pretty abstract idea to young children, but I believe in introducing concepts in little bits so when they are older they have background information in their minds to pull from and help them understand.
A nice follow-up book is Down Comes the Rain. It explains the water cycle and includes a couple of easy science experiments too. I’ll be showing a several more exploring water activities soon.
This simple, chalk activity is a wonderful way to introduce the topic of evaporation and the water cycle to young children. 2Teaching Mommies has a water cycle printable plus other rain-related pages that go wonderfully with this topic. You could easily turn this into a week-long (or longer) unit!
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