Monday, February 22, 2016

My Review of "Chalk on the Wild Side" by Lorie King Kaehler

Chalk on the Wild Side by Lorie King Kaehler is a great book for anyone looking for chalk bubbles, chalk spray paint, and chalk recipes to create fun and inexpensive kid orientated activities.  My kids love to draw with chalk.  I even painted our refrigerator with chalkboard paint so they would have a large area to express themselves each day (instead of my walls).

One of my kids had an allergy to store bought chalk and I had to spend hours searching the Internet to find a recipe for homemade chalk, I wish this book had been available then.  I love that Chalk on the Wild Side  offers several recipes for different types of chalk. Additionally, this book takes chalk art from the traditional chalkboard drawings into a bunch of other fun ways to use chalk and create some fun art.

The table of contents is as such:


  • Tools & Materials
  • Drawing Techniques
  • Projects:
  • Chalk & Paper
  • Chalk & Pavement
  • Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

The drawing techniques section introduces the reader how to use chalk for drawing techniques like linear strokes, smudging, blending and more.  This book is a great primer to introduce kids to various drawing and color blending techniques in a fun and non stressful atmosphere (one of my kids finds her art class to be very stressful, so this helps).  The author goes through how paper texture can affect how the chalk looks and blends.  There are a lot of really great ideas incorporated into this book.  The photographer Donna Starry did a beautiful job with her photos.  The photos really give the reader a great sense of how to follow the directions and the fun activities that these projects really are.

My favorite project is the chalk volcano project, it is getting warm out here in California and this provides a fun way to spend time outdoors and bring a little science into our activities. 

The recipes are made with easy to find materials such as:

  • Cornstarch or flour
  • food coloring
  • soap
  • plaster of Paris (this should only be used under adult supervision)
  • vinegar, baking soda, salt, etc.
  • Antacid Tablets, etc,
  • essential oils, unsweetened drink mixes, cinnamon etc.
  • candy or soap molds
  • and other easy to find items.

The book also offers fun recipes for glow in dark chalk, fizzing chalk, and scented chalk.  The activities are written so easily, that family can spend quality time making the chalk and doing the projects with out the stress of hard to find items.  Anything I did not have on hand, I easily found at my local dollar store.  If you have kids and they love chalk and wanted to expand their activities, then this book is worth looking at.

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