Playing with chalk is a classic summer game. Children can create outlines of each other, draw pictures, and sketch a hopscotch board onto the sidewalks and driveways. With childhood creativity, the possibilities are endless. Plus, it gets kids playing outside in fresh air, always a good thing in this day and screen age. However, some people don’t think so. One mother, Sarah Goodwin, discovered that her neighbors called the police and local housing on her children for ‘vandalizing’ the pavement. Keep in mind, Goodwin and her children were drawing with chalk that was later washed away by the rain.
In the Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Facebook group, Goodwin wrote about the situation. “How do you feel about children chalking on the pavement? Nothing offensive. My children are 6, 9, and 13, plus their friends. Hopscotch, tracks for scooters, drawing around themselves and it completely washed away a few days later. Had complaints made about it to housing and police. I thought kids playing outside was better than sat in, in front of screens.” 
Neighbor Calls the Police on Children for Playing Chalk and Hopscotch
Her post received love and encouragement from people who assured her that chalk is a far cry from real vandalism. Later, Goodwin updated her supporters, saying she and her children are going to ignore the complaints. In her next post, she explained that she, her kids, and others who live in the neighborhood continue to use chalk. They are not about to let someone else ruin their fun.
“After their first day of school and playing in the park, they went out yesterday and made more chalk. You’ve played more hopscotch, what time is it, Mr. Wolf?, a road for bicycles with traffic lights, roundabouts, and parking lots, which even passers-by joined. The kids loved it and so did I. They played with friends and neighbors for about three and a half hours, a total of 12 children ages 4 to 13. You laughed a lot and had a lot of fun. Loved the community spirit it brought.
“I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks this is a complaint has a serious problem. Or the person who said out loud, have you seen the state of it, must get a life as if the rain is over in a few days. I use what may be the last nice days before winter sets in.”
One of the top comments replied, “Shame on you for letting your kids enjoy themselves out in the fresh air with a bit of innocent chalking. Seriously though, I actually can’t believe somebody complained about this. Don’t let some idiot spoil your fun.” 
6 Fun Chalk Games For All Ages
Chalk is a simple tool that could create hours of fun, from doodling to games to competitions. Here are some ideas to start off a fun afternoon of chalk play.
Draw a bullseye board by drawing concentric circles with alternative colors. Add numbers in each circle to indicate the point values for a more competitive game. Use a marker such as a stone, bean bag, or even water balloons if it’s a hot day.
Hopscotch is a classic sidewalk game that stood the test of time. You can draw boxes, circles, or other shapes to make the board more unique. The size of the boxes and how far away they are can increase the difficulty of the game. You could use a piece of chalk for the marker, or a pebble, a beanbag, or a little plastic toy. 
Draw your own obstacle course across a driveway or large stretch of pavement. This could be a foot-maze or an obstacle course for scooters or bikes. The maze could include squiggly lines, circles, corners, and other shapes to make it more complicated. The more intricate the maze, the more fun it is to work through.
Create your own Twister board by drawing circles with four different colors. If you have the Twister spinning board, you could bring that out. Alternatively, you could make your own instructions and be creative with them. Aside from placing their hands and feet on the proper color, add actions like hopping, roaring like a lion, or calling out their favorite food.
Tic Tac Toe
Here’s a game as classic as hopscotch. Plus, it’s fun to play over and over, especially outside with chalk. You could add an extra challenge in the mix by drawing the board, standing away, and tossing a rock or bean bag at the place you want to place an X or O. Of course, the first person to get three in a row is the winner!
This is a fun, competitive, and simple game. Draw a starting line and have the kids try jumping as far from it as they can — running jumps are especially fun. Mark wherever the kids land with chalk to see the difference in their jumps. Most likely, they’ll want to go again to see if they could improve their score.
- “Someone called police about children who chalked hopscotch game on pavement.” Metro. Sian Elvin. September 8, 2021
- “Neighbour Calls The Police After Children Play With Chalk On Pavement.” Tyla. Lucy Devine. September 9, 2021
- “8 Time-Tested Sidewalk Games We Love.” New York Times. Dan Koeppel. June 10, 2020