day 3 – chalk the floor

Your kitchen floor will look like a crime scene but kids love this one, and clean-up is easy. You need a stick of chalk.

Get down on the floor with the kids. Draw around the child’s body, moving carefully around fingers and toes, and taking your tickly time with armpits and other sensitive spots. Although tickling usually eventuates, learning to keep still is an outcome of this activity. Enjoy the opportunity to be close to your child, and name body parts as you make your way around: wrist, waist, cheek, chin – new words for younger kids.

Then it’s time to hand over the chalk so kids can add facial features and clothing, even wings, horns, etc. if the figure turns into a butterfly, dragon, Viking, Superman or something else. Children will soon want to arrange their bodies into different, or specific, shapes. They’ll also want to draw around you – embrace it, you get to lie down.

Cleaning up is fun too: kids wear socks or put rags or paper towels under their feet, and shuffle around. For extra fun, pull up some shuffle music on your phone. This activity works best on timber floors. Outside on terracotta tiles or concrete, clean up with a hose or just let the outlines fade.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

2 thoughts on “day 3 – chalk the floor

  1. Doing a fine job Toni with these great ideas, everyone needs encouragement in these strange times. Especially our small citizens who must wonder about the changes in their routines. Playtime is so normal and should be a constant in their young lives.


    1. Thank you Morton. It was kind of you to send that encouragement. I hope you’ll follow my blog and keep sharing it so parents and grandparents can find it.


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