Rainy Day Fun — Reusable Art Mat

Emily wanted to draw with sidewalk chalk this afternoon, but Clara was taking a nap so I didn’t want one child outside while the other was indoors. So we compromised using a shower curtain liner as a reusable art mat. It worked beautifully!

The vinyl shower curtain liner was only $1 from Big Lots, and sidewalk chalk was from the dollar store. This was so inexpensive, but so much fun! It would be a fabulous rainy day activity!

After experimenting with the sidewalk chalk, we tried these watercolor markers from Dick Blick. (Also very inexpensive, I’ve mentioned these before here.)
Plenty of space for scribbling, creativity, and artistic expression!
The mat was almost completely covered in doodles when we were done. We couldn’t resist a silly photo….
When the kids are done drawing on their mat, throw it in the washing machine (cold, gentle cycle, line dry) and reuse it! The chalk and watercolor marker comes right off!


  1. Dear Valerie,

    We could use a new shower curtain. How long were you going to hide this one?

    Love Mark

  2. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    That rocks! Love the re-usability factor. (is that a word?) Maybe if you stuck the markers in the shower, Mark wouldn't notice that you need a new curtain since he'd be too busy having fun drawing on it?

  3. The Activity Mom says

    Oooh I can't wait to give this a try! Awesome!
    I also use this liner for indoor water play in the kitchen when the weather doesn't cooperate or if I'm cooking. If you want to check it out….

  4. @ Lenetta — Good idea! He's right… our shower curtain is looking quite ragged these days. Of course, I hardly ever buy anything for its intended purpose. He should know that by now!

    @ The Activity Mom — The chalk worked beautifully on here. The watercolor markers cleaned right off the mat, but not so easily off of Emily. Baby wipes did the trick to get it off. Have fun! I love the water play idea… thanks so much for passing along the link. It looks like so much fun!

  5. Great idea. Did the watercolor markers rub off onto her hands and or clothes?

  6. @ Mark — Wait til you see what I do with the bath mat I've been holding out on…. πŸ˜‰

  7. @ Lisa Anne — A bit, yes. But not too badly. With younger kids, I would stick to just chalk.

  8. Excellent idea! I'll have to look for those watercolor markers – they sound neat!

  9. Mrs. Wright says

    I'm sure you're getting sick of my comments, but once again I think this is an AWESOME idea. I really want to wander around in your brain for 5 minutes, lol… where do you come up with this stuff?

  10. Val in the Rose Garden says

    Did any of that come off on Emily? lol! Logan would LOVE that! Aquadoodle… move on over.


  11. I love this idea…this would be great for our art group! Multiple kids would have plenty of room to work on this.

  12. That is a great idea! I love the cute photo.

  13. Great idea — she looks so happy. My only question is how bad was the plastic smell of the shower curtain?

  14. @ Mrs. Wright — Ha!! You crack me up! πŸ™‚

    @ Ivy — Good question. Usually the smell of a new shower curtain is enough to make me keep the existing one until it's falling to shreds. That being said, this particular one wasn't bad at all. I think it was because it was such a cheap shower curtain. The heavy-duty ones seem to have a harsher smell. Also, this shower curtain had an almost canvas like surface to it. I don't think the chalk would have worked as well on a super smooth curtain. Hope this helps! It was a lot of fun!

  15. I love this idea! I will surely try it this autumn-winter, when it will be too cold to go outside and my little boy would be bored. Thank you!

  16. Brilliant! I love that this idea is inexpensive, easy to set up, and easy to store. Perfect!

  17. That's a great idea! I actually have a clear shower curtain in the "old rags" area. I could let them do that one day… if I'm feeling bold and willing to put up with three at one time doing a project. πŸ™‚

  18. That is a great idea! I like the silly photo at the end πŸ™‚

  19. Preschool Playbook says

    Gotta go out and get a shower curtain!

  20. I love this idea and will use it for my first grade sunday school class I am also following your blog visit mine and see if it is something you like as well

  21. Wow, this is a great idea too! You guys do some really neat things–very creative!

  22. Melissa @ A Child at Play says

    You can wash those? I had no idea. What kid wouldn't want to draw on that? What fun!

  23. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    Wow, this is such a great idea! I want to do this with my friends! I'll be linking.

  24. lisa@familynavigation.com says

    I always love these great cheap ideas. We got a free HUGE chalkboard left over at my husbands work and the kids chalk all over it and themselves on rainy days. I like the idea of markers. Although we have 20mth old twins so that might not be a great idea, yet. The 4yr old would love it I know.