Park your car on the street so it blocks the way in, or line up cones or chairs to form a barrier. Then let the kids have the run of the pavement. 

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Girls Playing With Chalk On Sidewalk
Credit: Priscilla Gragg

Your driveway is paved, private, and perfect for many things little ones can’t do in your front or back yard.

1. Start with chalk!

Draw the outline of a house. Your kids can add windows, a door, a garden, and a fence.

Have your child lie down on the driveway, then trace an outline around her body. She can draw in a face, hair, and clothes.

Create roads complete with stop signs for her to navigate with her ride-on.

Teach a classic game such as four square, hangman, or hopscotch.

Draw a circular target, and have the kids try to throw a beanbag into it. Or, if your driveway has a flat spot, put a marble in the circle and show how to knock it out by shooting another marble at it.

2. Hold a car wash.

Spreading suds with a sponge is the kids’ favorite part! But on really hot days, wielding the hose and rinsing the car (and themselves) is pretty cool too.

3. Get the sprinkler going.

Avoid making mud in the yard and let the kids get wet by ducking through the water on the driveway instead.

4. Plan a tie-dye day.

Buy a tie-dye kit (less than $30) and plain garments to decorate (T-shirts, socks, or pillowcases).

Follow the directions to soak items, roll them, and tie them with rubber bands. Lay them on the driveway, and have the kids squeeze on dye.

Let the dye set as instructed, then hose down the garments before you run them through the washer.

5. Try a skateboard.

Or roller skates. Or a scooter! The driveway is an ideal spot for learning new tricks and skills because your kid can stay close to the edge, simply plopping onto the grass if necessary.

6. Break out some dollar-store classics.

Go for cheap fun: jacks, jump ropes, balls, and water balloons. Also, playroom toys, like blocks and toy vehicles, seem new when used outside!

7. Set up a lemonade stand.

Make it artisanal by adding fruit, like blueberries or cut-up watermelon, to each glass.

Sell cookies, too, and increase profits. (Unless the kiddos eat them first!)

8. Make bubbles to blow.

Glycerin (in the beauty section of drugstores or vitamin stores) is the secret ingredient that keeps bubbles from popping right away. For a homemade solution, use 6 cups water, 1 cup dish soap (try Joy or Dawn), and 1 tablespoon glycerin. Stir gently as you add each.

Use plastic wands saved from old bubble bottles, or make your own by bending pipe cleaners into wand shapes.

Parents Magazine