I love sidewalk chalk. We always have a pail on hand. The kids can draw as big as they like, not confined to a small piece of paper.
When we lived in Brooklyn we had no backyard. In the summertime when the hot day had cooled off a bit, we spent countless hours on our front stoop. We would blow bubbles, say hello to our neighbors, eat popsicles, and draw with our sidewalk chalk. (I love the way C is standing in the photo above, so earnest and engaged. Drawing can be serious business.)
We make up alphabet games (where you have to jump to the letter mom calls out) and point out the letters we used to see on the subway.
C is fond of drawing long snakes that wind their way across our patio.
You can even leave a note for dad to find when he comes home from work.
Do the kids get filthy? Of course. Does the patio sometimes look a mess covered in scribbles and drawings? Oh yes. But I don't mind one bit.
See more fun ideas for things to do with chalk over here.