5 favorite sidewalk games

Sidewalk games and kids are a natural combination. Try these suggestions to keep them going from sun up until sundown.


These games wil keep your preschoolers busy outside when the weather is sunny and bright.


Try this simple take on the classic game of X's and O's.
  • Draw several tic-tac-toe boards (about 2 feet by 2 feet) on level pavement.

  • Players designate a "throw" line and take turns trying to toss a stone into a square.

  • If the stone lands in a square without touching any of the sides, that player gets to draw an "X" or "O" in that square.

  • If the player's stone touches one of the sides of a square, the player doesn't get to claim that square and it becomes the next player's turn. Play continues until someone has three X's or O's in a row.
To create more of a challenge or to add more fun, move the "throw" line further away from the board, or draw several game boards with progressively smaller boxes.

After each game is over, erase the markings with a rag and some water (don't touch the outlines of the boxes) and continue playing on a fresh board while it dries.


Hopscotch is a traditional chalk game, but do you remember how to play?
  • Draw a hopscotch course of ten boxes, numbered from 1 to 10, alternating a single box and a double box.

  • Each player takes a turn tossing a stone into the first box. If the stone stays in the box without touching the sides, the player gets to jump through the hopscotch course (always hopping over the box with their stone in it).

  • Players must use alternating feet when hopping into the single boxes and must not touch the sides of the box.

  • At the end of the course, the player turns around (balancing on one foot) and hops back, picking up the stone along the way.

  • If the player completes the course, he or she gets to toss the stone into the second box and continue.

  • If a player fails to complete the course, it is the next player's turn to toss a stone and hop through the course. The winner is the first player to complete the course ten times.

Family Portraits

Personalize your sidewalk or driveway with portraits painted by your pint-sized Picasso.

Use some colored chalk and have each member of the family draw a self-portrait or let each person draw a picture of someone else in your family. Don't forget to include your family pet!


Traditionally played using five city-sidewalk squares, our version can be played on a level driveway or in a garage, too.
  • Mark off five large squares in a row (about one grown-up "giant step" in length each) and number them from 1 to 5.

  • Players stand at opposite ends of the course.

  • The first player throws a ball so that it bounces once in the square farthest away. If the ball doesn't bounce in that square, touches the edges, or is caught by the other player after it bounces, the first player's turn is over.

  • If the first player is successful, he or she has another turn and tries to throw the ball so it bounces once in the fourth square and once in the fifth square (without touching the edges or being caught). If successful, the player then throws the ball so it bounces in the third, fourth, and fifth square.

  • The first player to bounce the ball into all five squares without being caught wins.

Shadow Capture

Here's an easy art experiment that helps kids build hand-eye coordination while learning about the sun and shadows. Use colorful chalk to outline the shadow of an object--your mailbox, a bike, or a favorite toy--then color in the outlines with your child. When the sun changes position, you'll have captured a shadow!
nick jr. video