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Chalk Stories

This fun outdoor activity will spark your early years’ creativity and exercise those storytelling skills! It is best suited for older children in smaller groups.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • An outdoor area with a concrete/paved floor, or a smooth(ish) blank wall
  • Coloured chalk
  • A camera

Preparing the activity:

  1. The idea of this activity is to draw pictures or scenes on the floor (or wall) that the children can then lie down on to become part of the picture. Some examples could be: a simple drawing of a dog and lead, with a child posing like they are walking and holding the lead; someone pretending to fly a kite; someone at the beach; or even floating through the clouds!
  2. To demonstrate the concept to your early years, first have a go at drawing some scenes on the floor for you to be photographed into (you may need another practitioner’s help at this stage!).
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Explain to the children what the activity entails, then encourage them to think of pictures and scenes they want to create. This should be as child-led as possible, as your early years come up with the ideas and draw them on the floor.

Facilitate the children coming up with images and even stories of their own to depict in the pictures. They may want to discuss stories and ideas with each other. Encourage an atmosphere of collaboration to enable them to work together to achieve their picture goals. However, when one child, or a team of children, are working on a photo, encourage the other children to wait patiently for their turn.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could attempt a little stop-motion animation with a simple idea like a child walking through a picture. This would be really fun for the group to watch back when back inside!

Another option is to encourage the children to take charge of the photography. However, this would require them to be standing on some steps or a stepladder to get the required height, and must be risk assessed and supervised to ensure it is safe.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships: “Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas, e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children.; Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing.”

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness: “Confident to talk to other children when playing, and will communicate freely about own home and community.”

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour: “Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.; Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met, and understands wishes may not always be met.”

Literacy: Reading: “Beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured.; Suggests how the story might end.”

Expressive arts and design: Being imaginative: “Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.; Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words.”

40-60+ months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships: “Initiates conversations, attends to and takes account of what others say.”

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness: “Confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests and opinions.”

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour: “Aware of the boundaries set, and of behavioural expectations in the setting.”

Expressive arts and design: Being imaginative: “Create simple representations of events, people and objects.; Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative.”