I recently shared our still life chalk portraits activity, and here is another activity along the same lines: Chalk self portraits! To set up this activity all you will need is a large mirror, a chalk board (like the Bigjigs double sided chalkboard and white board which we used), and some chalk – and a willing child of course!
I set up this activity with Mr R who is 3 years old, but it will work well for all different ages of children as they can add a different level of detail depending on their age and stage.
Looking in the mirror to draw the portraits is a good way for toddlers to work on their body awareness. Thinking about the different body parts and their relationship to each other in the space is a great activity to help with awareness and understanding of their own bodies and marking these down on the chalk board helps to work on motor planning and coordination.
Mr T worked on people drawing activities in occupational therapy as a pre-writing skill. Drawing faces is one of the first milestones we look for in our children’s drawings as a parent, and there really is a lot of benefit to this type of work. It’s normally one of the first stages in a child giving meanings to their mark making.
As Mr R was working, he looked in the mirror at himself and pointed out many of the body parts on himself before drawing his own version on the paper. His drawings are not the most accurate to say the least! But he is just 3, and looking at his foot, pointing and verbally labelling that and then drawing a little scribble on the bottom of the board to represent his feet means that there is a lot more understanding and thinking within the process than just “a scribble”
Working on the chalk boards means that these activities can easily be repeated again and again. This is very handy especially when it’s not so much the finished product that is important, but the process. It’s very easy to wipe off (children may enjoy doing that themselves) and there is no mess with this activity.
Working with mirrors whether on self portraits, or general mirror play, is also a good way for young children to develop self confidence and be proud of who they are. Working with photographs of themselves is another great way to develop this too.
The Bigjigs chalkboard that you see used here is actually a magnetic dry wipe whiteboard with shapes on the other side, so there’s double the creative and play potential there. Mr R and Mr T love playing and learning with the magnetic shapes. I’ll share our other some creative ideas for the magnetic white board soon. Look out for those, and you can see the chalkboard / whiteboard here on the Bigjigs site. Current price £ 15.99.
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