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How does your child see him/herself?

I was thrilled when our butcher paper finally came because I'd been wanting to do life size portraits with the kids for a while now. I remember doing this project as a kid and it was so empowering to see how big I was when I took a step back from the paper. In an early 2020 overseas visit to my family, my aunt had life size portraits of her grandchildren hanging in her room. I loved how each child decorated their own portrait differently, with no influence from an adult. I thought it would be sweet if we could do the same project, uniting these cousins who have never met each other, across the world.

Materials for Life Size Portraits:

Butcher paper, marker, any coloring supplies and my favorite: People Colors from Lakeshore Learning.

Snag your own "People Colors" set from Lakeshore here.

How to make a life size portrait:

  1. Have your child lie flat down on the butcher paper while you trace them
  2. Offer different supplies to add in details: markers, stickers, paint, People Colors!
  3. Watch their creativity ignite.

Guiding questions:

Talking about the beauty of diversity and all skin colors:

I remember my aunt bringing me a set of "People Colors" when I was about 5 or 6. I remember the joy in seeing all the shades of peach and brown. It was so exciting to receive these new crayons, and I remember holding onto them for years always putting them back in their case just so. It was the first time anyone had talked to me about the diverse and beautify colors of our skin. I

Now my girls have their own set and as we looked through the crayons, I read out the names of all the colors: coral, sable, chestnut, maize, peach, ebony, mocha, melon. We talked about how all the colors of skin are beautiful and important. We also discussed that "Black" and "White" are supposed to be opposites, but people really come in all shades of the same color. When we stop feeling like we are opposite, then we can focus on what we have in common.

The kids and I discussed different skin colors and then discussed the similarities between people. We all have hearts; we all feel joy and sadness; we all like to be a part of a community, to feel like we belong.

These people color crayons are a call to celebrate every human color and a wonderful way to address race and skin color with our children. When we bring up the subject of race with kids from an early age, we can teach respect, love, and unity before they reach an age where they feel uncomfortable discussing race or worse, when society has taught them negative stereotypes and biases that will need to be unlearned.

We are all human and we must stand up for one another. It's never too early to teach our children to appreciate the beauty of every color and the people behind the colors as well.

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I love our sticky wall. It's up almost year round, and I switch up the activities on a weekly basis. One of my favorite things about the sticky wall is that it's at eye level and can be made large enough for each child to have her own section. Both kids can work together or separately in this sticky wall sort. For sorting sticky wall activities, I place different colored construction paper behind the wall to create sections for the sorted objects.

WAIT! Just starting and don't know how to make a sticky wall? Want to see more creative ways to use your sticky wall? Click here!

Sticky Wall Shape Sort activity:

  1. Cut up construction paper into small shapes to be sorted on the wall.
  2. Label the areas for each shape with a picture of that shape. We used an index card.
  3. Invite your child to play by introducing the shapes.
  4. Together match one of each shape to the correct section on the sticky wall.
  5. Have your child sort the rest of the shapes.

Guided Questions- How to get the most out of your Sticky Wall Shape Sort:

Kids are like sponges and when they're engrossed in a fun task, like the sticky wall shape sort, they can pick up a lot more information through guided questioning techniques. Here are some questions to use during the shape sort to help your child think about shapes in different ways.

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My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.

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