For many years we handed out sidewalk chalk as the party favor at Rebecca’s birthday celebrations. You could get sixteen big sticks of color (in a convenient plastic carrying case) for $1. It was big, it was colorful, it was useful and it was cheap. That’s an ideal party favor for little kids. (AC Moore has a 20 pack for under $5–bet it was on sale early in the summer). If you find a good deal, stockpile it for your next party. You aren’t just being thrifty, you are nurturing talent. Perhaps the best reason for giving out sidewalk chalk (home associations be damned) was , and is, that it is a gift of creativity. It’s hard to resist a sidewalk canvas, and it is an excellent way for parents and kids to play together on a summer evening. People in my neighborhood clearly agree. Here’s a few shots of the summertime art, gone with the next rain, that makes sidewalk chalk such a priceless toy.