Sometimes as a parent we come across something so simple that our children enjoy and wonder why we’ve never thought about it before. It’s only really been this year that N’s been interested in drawing (last year he discovered colouring was fun, this year It’s drawing and writing). He’ll surprise me by getting out numerous boxes of pens, pencils and other craft bits and pieces when I least expect it.
It is annoying when I walk in to find sellotape on everything including the carpet, kitchen scissors lost (why? he has 2 pairs of his own), and bits of paper chopped up over the floor. N doesn’t seem to remember that the place has only just been hovered and that I’ve told him numerous times that he should be doing art things at the kitchen table.
Apart from scissors and sellotape, his favourite thing for artwork has to be huge rolls of paper(*affiliate). The other day he decided that he wanted me to draw round his body. There was no other planning apart from this. But there’s a lot of learning and creativity that can be done with paper people outlines.
How to get creative with paper people outlines
1, Get the tape measure out
N loves maths and measuring, so he decided he wanted to know if he’d grown. Obviously it’s not very accurate but we determined (once we’d allowed for his feet not being flexed) that he had grown a centimetre since Christmas.
2, Learn anatomy
The first thing that N drew was eyes (a bit scary black), and then a heart. A ‘big heart because I love lots of things’. Ahhh. I did suggest he drew other body parts, then regretted it when I realised he’d probably start drawing the obvious male appendages rather than learning about internal organs. Thankfully he told me he didn’t need anything else other than his heart. Obviously we’ll save the anatomy for another day.
3, Get creative with fashion
Either colour in the outline to put clothes on it, or make clothes out of coloured paper and stick it on…think like old fashioned paper dolls and clothes kits* (affiliate link)
4, Stick them on bedroom doors to show whose rooms they are
Make a whole family and stick them up. Although I have to say that everytime I walk up the stairs and see N’s lifesize picture on his door, it makes me jump a little.
5, Make a giant movie
If you create a family and colour in to create clothes, try a stop motion film moving them in and out of shot with additional props.
Benefits of lifesize outline play and crafts include:
- Learning about anatomy and how the body works. This may also require referencing books and the internet to get the organs correctly placed so can support science learning, as well as younger children learning about general limbs and features
- Big is fun to children. So much more fun having a huge sheet of paper than an A4 piece
- Creativity is good. Children can go off piste and design their own version of themselves
- Lifesize enables young children to understand their size in relation to everything else around them
I’m sure there are lots of other creative ideas. Do let me know if you have any other ideas or let me know if you try it.
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