Cornstarch Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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Get creative outdoors by making art on the sidewalk using this fun, easy, homemade Cornstarch Sidewalk Chalk Paint! Perfect for the upcoming warm weather.

What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building

  • Early science – mixing different materials together to create a new one 
  • Color identification & color mixing – naming different colors and making new ones by mixing two or more together  
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) – creating one’s own art materials at home 
  • Sensory learning – recognizing different textures and changes in the materials through touch


  • 1½ cups cornstarch
  • Measuring cups (dry & liquid) 
  • Spoon(s)
  • 1½ cups water
  • Food coloring 
  • Medium-size mixing bowl
  • Small bowls (number of bowls will depend on how many colors you make)
  • Paintbrushes


Optional Materials

  • Paper (construction paper, cardstock, copy paper, etc.)
  • Rocks (to paint on)
  • Masking tape (for tape resist art)
  • Squeeze bottle (for swirly paint designs)
  • Containers for leftover paint storage


  1. Measure 1½ cups of cornstarch and pour it into a medium-size mixing bowl (your child can use a spoon to scoop the cornstarch into the measuring cups). Ask, “What does the cornstarch feel like? Soft, smooth, light, gritty?” 
  2. Add 1½ cups of water to the bowl. Mix the water and cornstarch together until there are no clumps. Invite your child to touch the mixture. Ask, “What does it feel like now? Slimy, soft, gooey?” 
  3. Decide how many colors of chalk paint to make, then grab the appropriate number of small bowls. Pour an equal amount of the cornstarch/water mixture into each bowl. 
  4. Mix a few drops of food coloring into each bowl then stir with a spoon. This is a good opportunity to introduce color mixing! Ask, “What color do we get when we mix red and yellow together? How about blue and yellow?” 
  5. Take the chalk paint and the paintbrushes outside to make art on the sidewalk and the driveway. Try painting on paper and rocks, too. Invite your child to also paint with their hands and feet! 

(Note: Cornstarch tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl, so your child will need to occasionally re-mix the paint.)


Storage & Clean-up 

  • Cornstarch chalk paint can last for a few days if it’s stored in covered containers. Shake or stir to refresh paint that’s been sitting for awhile. 
  • The paint can be easily washed away from the sidewalk, driveway, or rocks with water. The food coloring may leave light-colored, temporary stains, but they’ll fade away with sun exposure. 

More Painting Suggestions

  • Tape Resist Painting: Put strips of masking tape on the ground. Have your child paint on top of and around the tape. When they’re done painting, peel off the tape to see the design left behind!
  • Squeeze Bottle Cornstarch Paint: Pour the paint into a squeeze bottle. Make sure the top’s on tight. Shake it up and make swirly designs on the sidewalk, driveway, paper, and rocks.