Introduction: Precision Marked Outdoor Sidewalk Games

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

Take a look at the video to see how we used a chalk reel to precisely mark out outdoor sidewalk games for the grandkids (Steph's niblings).


We are using a chalk reel with bright orange chalk that has a permanency rating of two. That means it will wash away easily when it rains or it is hosed off. We are also using a tape measure.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Fill the Chalk Reel

When we first posted this project on our website, we were very surprised by the comments. Many readers were unaware that such a tool existed and were interested in learning more about it.

A chalk reel makes a nice crisp line between two points. It's used most often by carpenters, roofers and flooring installations. We decided to show chalking sidewalk games as a way to show the tool in action.

Precision isn't necessary for an ordinary, quick game of Four Square or Hopscotch, but if you want to permanently paint these on your driveway, patio, or sidewalk, then using a chalk line (reel) is one way of going about it.

This particular chalk reel used the entire bottle of chalk. We simply unscrewed the top, filled, replace the top and gave it a gentle shake. We were in business!

Step 3: Creating a Four Square Court

We were unable to create regulation size Four Square Court due to space limitation, but we made do with the space we had. It is very helpful to use a chalk reel with a buddy, although there is a ring on the string end to use it by yourself.

We chalked in the court and then the grandsons came over later to further color it in and to play.

Step 4: Create Hopscotch

Using a tape measure and chalk reel, we chalked in the lines for hopscotch. We actually created a grid and then had the boys chalk in the lines and numbers that are used for hopscotch. Once the boys were finished we "erased" any chalk lines that were not needed.

A quick internet search will yield exact dimensions for both Four Square and Hopscotch.

This is a great way to help young kids make outdoor games for the day, or to lay the outline for a permanent version!

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