It's all about chalk play


There's a wonderful story from Sydney about a man who has sunk into despair and alcoholism. He was wounded in the First World War, but his problems had begun in Balmain well before then, and by the Depression years his life was virtually over. But one day, after hearing a powerful sermon, he finds a piece of chalk in his pocket, bends down to the footpath and scribbles the word Eternity on the concrete. The odd thing was that the man was almost illiterate, but the word came out in a beautiful copperplate script. For the next 35-odd years Arthur Stace wrote that word on Sydney streets more than half a million times, and its appearance was a mystery until 1956, when a journalist blew his cover. Stace found redemption in that word and never touched alcohol again. And when Sydney celebrated the millennium, the Harbour Bridge was lit up with that single word, Eternity, in elegant copperplate.
We're not suggesting you'll find redemption in drawing with chalk! But it's a great activity for adults and kids, and our blackboard chalk from Lyra is wonderfully tactile and comes in a range of vibrant colours. Besides possibly being a tool for redemption, chalk is a tool for art and, of course, for hopscotch.
  • Children of different ages can create together
  • Younger ones can colour independently
  • Kids can practise writing
  • Clean-up with a hose is just as much fun as the activity
  • And — cleanup is optional!
Using chalk, children practise using their small muscles (fine motor skills) to grasp and hang on to the chalk. They use their larger muscles (gross motor development) to bend down, scribble, jump around up to admire their work, run over to your hammock to drag you over and see their work. Our supplier, Lyra, has been making pencils since the early 1800s, and its commitment to quality of craftsmanship and colour is obvious. Steiner schools choose to use Lyra because of the quality and truth of the colour. And once you have used a Lyra product there is no going back. Kids aren't bothered by whether the product works - Lyra does work, and it gives free rein to their creativity and imagination. As for Arthur Stace, he would write his single-word sermon in chalk and it would wash off or wear off after a few days or a few hours. Maybe his message tells us that we all have a story to share while we’re here, no matter how big or small.

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