Best Sidewalk Chalk

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
90 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best sidewalk chalk

Drawing pictures, playing games, and writing messages on the sidewalk with chalk is a staple activity of childhood. Sidewalk chalk is a vehicle for creativity and fun for toddlers, teens, and kids in between. Adults too can enjoy imaginative sidewalk chalk activities on a warm, sunny day. 

While chalk is a naturally occuring substance in the world, most sidewalk chalk is man-made. Such artificial chalk is scientifically known as magnesium carbonate, but it holds the same useful properties as natural chalk. It’s a soft, solid substance that adheres to surfaces and can crumble into dust or powder. Man-made chalk can be infused with color for vibrant possibilities.

Though simple in composition, sidewalk chalk is diverse in its creation and packaging, meaning there are lots of options available. When buying for kids, the chalk should be non-toxic and easy to use, but it’s worth looking at longevity and variety as well. In this guide, we examine your options and what you should keep in mind when shopping for sidewalk chalk.

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There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating innovative, exciting sidewalk chalk art. For inspiration, don’t hesitate to search online to see what others have done.

Key considerations

Colors

Perhaps the most important factor when choosing sidewalk chalk is color. You may only want a handful of colors, or you may desire a wide assortment. Yellows, reds, and oranges are among the most popular options; many purchases include shades of green, blue, and purple as well. Darker colors may be included in larger packs, but because they don’t show up as well, they’re not usually the most desirable colors. After all, it can be hard to track down gray, brown, or black on a dark sidewalk.

Size

Sidewalk chalk should be thick, durable, and easy to hold. Because you’ll be pressing it against a hard surface, thinner pieces like those used on an indoor chalkboard aren’t the best for outside, as they may break under the pressure. Even when force isn’t required, younger children may inadvertently apply extra pressure, which can lead to breakage. Thicker pieces of chalk are less likely to chip when dropped. What’s more, thicker options create thicker lines, which may be useful for shading.

Shape

Most chalk is cylindrical, making it easy to hold and store, but some sidewalk chalk is angular, which helps prevent it from rolling away on a sloped surface. This is advantageous on sloped driveways and uneven sidewalks. Angular chalk may be more likely to stay in place on a windy day, too.

Quantity

The smallest sidewalk chalk may feature just three or four pieces, while the largest options may include over 40 or 50 pieces. Some elaborate sets include over 100 pieces of chalk. When considering a larger collection, note that you may sacrifice size for number. As mentioned, thinner pieces may have a shorter shelf life than thicker pieces. Still, there are price breaks for larger sets, as the per-piece cost is likely to be lower.

Consider the intricacies of the work the kids (or you) will be creating as well as how many people will be using the chalk. While a large number of pieces is nice, it may make cleanup more tedious.

Safety

Most sidewalk chalk is non-toxic because it’s intended for children. It’s always worth double-checking, though. Many consumers rely on reputable and trusted companies for their child-friendly chalk.

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Did You Know?
Chalk boasts impressive absorbent properties. You can add some to a laundry hamper to remove odor or store extra pieces alongside tools or silverware to attract moisture and keep your items from tarnishing or rusting.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Bucket storage

Some sidewalk chalk comes with its own storage bucket. The sealed bucket provides protection from inclement weather and offers a convenient mode of transportation for the chalk. Parents may also like the easy cleanup it offers.

Designs and templates

You may have the option of buying a kit with templates, guides, or other designs to aid and inspire young sidewalk chalk artists. It’s worth noting though that stencils and outlines can be purchased separately as well.

Pastels

Some users may want to forgo bright colors for something more muted. Select sidewalk chalk options may be pastels, allowing for a soothing, calmer creation. Pastels are muted and earthy, lending themselves to design patterns and floral works.

Glitter

For those who want a little sparkle and excitement, there is glitter chalk. These pieces offer a bit of shimmer and shine and are especially useful for fantastical creations. Glitter sidewalk chalk is more likely to attract younger users, though older kids and adults may like it, too.

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Did You Know?
Sidewalk chalk may prove useful in and around the house to cover up unsightly blemishes on walls or ceilings. If you can match the color, use chalk to hide tiny eyesores.
Staff
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Accessories

Chalk paint: Chalky Chicks Chalk Finish Paint
Creating a chalkboard in your own home provides some fun opportunities, especially if there are times you can’t design outside. We like this quality chalk paint from Chalky Chicks that comes in a variety of colors.

Chalkboard: The Board Dudes Chalkboard
A sidewalk isn’t necessary. You can acquire chalkboards for indoor activities and creations, too. Check out this option from The Board Dudes with a classic wood frame and a low price.

Sidewalk chalk prices

Inexpensive: Smaller sets of large sidewalk chalk, (often four pieces), sell for $10 or less. Sometimes, you can find sets that cost approximately $1 per piece.

Mid-range: For $10 to $20, you can get a set of sidewalk chalk in an array of colors. A convenient bucket or carton for storage will likely be included.

Expensive: If you decide to spring for the ultimate sidewalk chalk collection for over $20, you can get a large set with a satisfying array of colors as well as extras, such as a storage bucket or stencils.

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Did You Know?
Sidewalk chalk can be used as an ant repellent. The calcium deposits in the chalk block scents, which can in turn disrupt and deter a procession of ants. Create an outline on your patio for an ant-free outing
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Clear a space before you begin. This entails removing any dirt, pebbles, leaves, or other debris from your sidewalk canvas. Any residue could ruin both the artwork as well as the chalk.
  • Don’t draw over chalk. Mixing colors can be tricky with chalk because one layer won’t adhere to another. Once you’ve covered an area of the pavement or concrete, avoid going over it with more chalk. Try to fill in any gaps instead.
  • Keep white chalk on hand. While it’s not the most exciting option, white chalk is highly useful. It can serve as a border to highlight areas, and it’s an ideal option to use as a template.
  • Get a grip. Chalk is naturally absorbent. If your hands are slightly damp or you need a better grip, rub a piece of chalk in your palms. Athletes regularly use chalk powder to improve traction.
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It’s best to use sidewalk chalk on your own property. Some localities prohibit chalk use in public places like parks or playgrounds, even when used innocently and safely.

FAQ

Q. How old does a child have to be to use chalk?

A. Most sidewalk chalk is advised for use from ages two to six years and up. For younger ones, parents should monitor usage. While most sidewalk chalk is not toxic, it may still present some hazards. For example, a child who tries to eat or swallow chalk could choke. Chalk dust could also blow into the child’s eyes or mouth, causing discomfort.

Q. How does weather affect chalk?

A. Sidewalk chalk is harder to use when wet, so keep it out of the rain. While it would eventually dry out and become usable again, chalk that gets wet may lose some brightness, texture, and thickness.

It’s unlikely that heat will have a negative effect on chalk, making it an ideal accessory for a hot day outside.

Q. How do I clean up sidewalk chalk?

A. Raindrops will rinse away sidewalk chalk over time; forceful downpours will quickly eliminate it. If you don’t want to wait around for rain, you can opt to use a hose to spray away the chalk. You may also choose to use a bucket of warm water and soap to wipe away residue. If chalk has been frequently used on blacktop, the surface may accumulate dust over time and start to fade. To return it to the deeper black, try lemon oil or a solution of white vinegar and water to eliminate residue and dust.

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