Kid-Style: The Self-Portrait Project

“We should say to each of [our children]: You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything… there has never been another child like you…”  

                                                    Cellist and composer Pablo Casals

Long before anyone ever even said the word “Selfies” children have been creating self-portraits. Creating a self-portrait is a great way for children of all ages to explore the concept of self. This activity helps teach children how we are different and how we are alike. As a child creates their self-portrait, they develop basic math skills such as shape and color recognition, recognize and name facial features, and learn to follow steps in a sequence. Self-portraits are a great way for your child to express themselves.  With all that being said, I have a fun project for you and your child to take part in. It’s called “Kid-Style: The Self-Portrait Project”.

Creating the self-portrait



Step 1: Take a head shot of your child. The better the lighting, the better the photo.

Step 2: Transfer the photo to your computer and enlarge it on a letter-sized sheet. Print it out.

Step 3: Stand in front of the mirror with your child and discuss what you see. Point out shapes, colors and textures. Ask your child what features they want to include in their portrait. Take this time to tell them how wonderfully unique they are! Tell them what you love about their appearance. Discuss how beautiful they are inside too.

Step 4: Time to create! Place a clean sheet of paper in front of your child along with the printed photo. Start with a pencil and remind them to press lightly in order to erase easily, if necessary.

Step 5: Once the basic sketch is complete, they can apply color. Let your child use whatever they want to use: crayons, markers, paint, or colored pencils. Take this opportunity to teach your child about colors and textures. Also, discuss what makes them look the way they do. Maybe she has dark black hair like Grandma did when she was young, or he has blue eyes like Uncle Bill. Or maybe they are completely unique and describe how wonderful that is!

Step 6: All done? Scan it and send it to [email protected]. I’d love to showcase an exhibit of the artwork on my website down the road. I also plan to post the artwork on my Facebook page as well. Let’s see what your little Rembrandt creates!