Giving Out Smiles

If you don’t have a smile, I’ll give you one of mine. ~Author unknown

I think a very caring young person at one of the houses Monkey and I pass on our long walks must be familiar with this quotation.

If not, perhaps they’re just blessed with a happy personality and derive a sense of joy from making others smile.

One day, we noticed a lengthy sidewalk filled with pictures and suggestions in colored chalk. Monkey seemed impervious to them, but he doesn’t read (yet!).

I found myself smiling when I read them. See if you agree.

Our first challenge is a game of Hopscotch. When you finish, there’s a “Good Job!” message to encourage you:

We also find “What sound does a dog make?”, accompanied by a drawing of a puppy face:

Now we’re instructed to “Walk the Plank.” I’m guessing the squiggles represent waves of water:

Here we find the outline of two (very small!) shoes and the instruction to “Jump here 10 times”:

Let’s “Skip in the Line.” Probably easier for kids than adults, don’t you think?:

Uh-oh, starting to get harder! Time to “Jump and Twist”:

At last, we reach the end of the walk and what do we find? “Walk on the line” and “Step on the Puffs”:

I’m not sure, but I’ll bet many walkers in this neighborhood got a smile out of these chalked exercises. And I can’t help wondering how many glanced around before giving them a try for themselves!

27 thoughts on “Giving Out Smiles

  1. OMG Debbie this is so CUTE! Totally put a smile on my face while having my morning cup of coffee! Don’t cha’ just love how naturally happy, joyful, and creative kids are?

    “I’ll bet many walkers in this neighborhood got a smile out of these chalked exercises. And I can’t help wondering how many glanced around before giving them a try for themselves!”

    Yup, I’ll be too!

    Thanks so much for sharing this today, my friend. What a great way to start my day…with a SMILE…. 🙂


    • Ron, I’m delighted this post brought a smile to your face! And you’re totally right: most kids tend to be happy and creative by nature … until they come upon adults who wring those traits right out of them.

      While I didn’t actually see anybody doing the challenges, I was tempted. Until I realized some expectant child was probably peeking from inside their house, just waiting to laugh over adults trying to hop, skip, jump, and twist!! xx

    • Barbara, I would have, too, had I not feared the “artist” was lurking somewhere unseen, just waiting to giggle at adults trying to accomplish these challenges. But even that would’ve been fun, huh? I mean, why write a book if nobody reads it? Why draw if nobody enjoys it?!

    • Thank you, Dawn. I’m honored to see you here. You’ve been on my mind and in my prayers since losing the Princess. If there’s anything I can do — shoulder to cry on, etc. — contact me, okay? The address is on your left, under the copyright notice.

  2. It’s great to see the tradition of sidewalk art continuing — especially that hopscotch, but also the creative additions. Of course, when we were making hopscotch outlines on the sidewalk, we were using limestone rocks from the roads or driveways. Sidewalk chalk hadn’t been invented yet!

    • Seriously?? While we didn’t have the fat chalk kids have nowadays, we did use chalk — both colored and white. Because each stick was so skinny, we went through it pretty fast, too. I remember drawing on our patio — hopscotch, of course, as well as other things. We didn’t do sidewalks, though, and the driveway was much too sloping. Fun memories!

  3. Yes, Debbie this gives me (a much needed) smile today! The hopscotch took me right back to the 6 yo version of myself. Jump Ten gave me a laugh. The numbered puffs took me to cloud nine! Yorkie and I are curious beings. While understanding Monkey may not have been able to participate in the chalked games with four paws, did you play with two?

    Love this post!

    • I’m so happy this made you smile!! Monkey was much more interested in sniffing around to learn who had written on the sidewalk, as well as which dogs had left pee-mail for him. Sadly, we got rain, which washed away most of the artist’s drawings, but not to worry — he/she was back as soon as the sun returned. This time, they filled the sidewalk with interesting and encouraging words — like “Take care of your body; it’s the only one you’ve got” and “Your(sic) awesome” and “Great job.”

      • “pee-mail for Monkey” had me laughing which made Yorkie so happy that she came to kiss all over my face. (She rarely gives kisses). So you have made our day a delight!

    • Well, you know my adult shoes would’ve been all over those lines, FF! When we drew hopscotch as kids, we always made the boxes extra-large, so we’d at least have a chance, ha!

  4. What fun to discover this on your walk! What an openness of spirit here–an open heart sharing its joy. Thank you for passing along the sidewalk joy and opening all of our hearts a little more.

    • I’m glad you appreciated this child’s efforts, too, Kathy. I find it so refreshing that children (at least some of them) are able to offer their talents without apology or expectation of reward!

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