Chalk racetrack activities: why they’re good for children with disability or autism
Chalk racetrack activities involve drawing a racetrack with chalk and getting children to run, skip or wheel around it.
Chalk racetrack activities help children with disability or autism develop gross motor skills, agility and fitness. These activities also help children learn numeracy concepts like time and speed.
What you need for chalk racetrack activities
- chalk sticks – chunky chalk is best
- a large paved area like a footpath, a safe closed street, a public square or basketball court.
You can also use a stick and a beach or dirt field for this activity.
Keep your child safe around roads and driveways by supervising this activity.
How to create and play chalk racetrack
- Use the chalk or stick to draw a large, looped racetrack on the ground. Make sure you include some turns and wiggles. Draw one line first, then add the parallel line to make the track.
- Encourage your child to run, scoot, skate or skip around, keeping within the lines of the track. You might need to show your child what to do, or do it with your child.
- Try using a stopwatch to time how fast your child can run around, or challenge your child to jump or hop around the track to make it harder.
Children can have a go at drawing the racetrack. Your child could work together with other children to create and use the racetrack.
How to adapt a chalk racetrack activity to suit diverse abilities
For children using wheelchairs or other mobility devices, draw a wider track or have fewer or less sharp twists and turns. You could also focus more on getting around the whole track rather than on doing it as fast as possible.
For children with vision impairment, try using bright markers or tape for the track. Or you could set up a track that’s based on feel instead of vision. For example, you could tie cord around trees or poles and get your child to follow the track with their hands.
For children who find social interaction difficult, try getting them to race against their own best times rather than against other people.
Looking for more play and learning ideas for your child? You might like to explore our other activity guides. Some of these have been created for typically developing children, but they can all be adapted to suit children with diverse strengths and abilities.