One of the first topics in many preschool environments whether the home, daycare or classroom is that of the Family. It is a great ice-breaker theme so that as an educator you can get to learn a little more about the children in your care and their families. Creating a portrait of themselves is an activity that I have seen in classrooms around the world during the first couple of weeks, but asking the children to create portraits of their families is a different take on it. These family portraits are an ideal creative activity to include in your family theme for preschool.
We have put together a Week Plan for the Family Theme which you can subscribe to Rainy Day Mum Hands-on Learning Updates with suggestions for activities covering different areas of development in the preschool environment.
Materials needed for family portraits
A mix of coloured paper
Skin Tone Coloured Paper for your family – you can use our affiliate link to buy a pack of mixed skin colours here
Colouring materials (crayons, pencils, markers)
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Preparation needed for family portraits
Cut out an oval from the skin tone coloured paper and glue to the blank white paper for each member of the family, select coloured paper that could be used to represent your family, we needed brown, blue, green, yellow and pink.
Creating Family Portraits
We started off creating our family portraits by looking at ourself in the mirror and our features of our faces, T and I were at home alone so for J and Rainy Day Dad we used pictures that we had taken from our recent holiday.
Whilst we were looking at ourselves it gave us a great opportunity to talk about facial features – T was very familiar with Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth but as we looked in detail other features became obvious – both she and I have freckles so there was a discussion about where they came from and why we had them when J and Daddy didn’t. Lips, Eyebrows, Eyelashes, Fringes (bangs in the US).
Once we had looked at our features, how they were similar and how they were different we headed back to our table and started to work through each person – on the bottom of the paper I wrote Mummy, Daddy, J and Me wanting to introduce some words to do with family as well as focus on the creative aspect of the portraits.
Starting with Daddy, T picked a brown and thought about his hair how it was short and spikey so she cut a strip and then chopped it up and put it on – he has blue eyes so she cut out the eyes from blue paper and then drew his nose – my husband has a large nose and it seems that this is a critical feature for her of him as in the end it was the only portrait that had a nose on it.
J has a similar hair style to Daddy but blonde so she chose a pale yellow the nearest colour to his hair that we had in paper and set about cutting the strips the same, he has blue eyes and smiles a lot so his mouth was bigger – she went back and added eyebrows to his at a later point and made them purple – when asked why because she wanted them to stand out more for him.
Her own portrait proved interesting – she has two different coloured eyes – a green and a blue on her face she can point to the green eye and the blue eye but when we talked about how it would be on the paper she reversed them, we spent some time talking about this and working out through her logic why it was different and in the end got through to it was how she saw her face when she looked at it – there was lots of going back to the mirror and pointing it out to me.
I was created last, T and I have very similar hair cuts and she pointed this out added my green eyes and then mouth then added lots and lots of freckles my feature that stands out for her.
Whilst we created the portraits we talked about the family members personalities and who else we looked like, how we could create other members of the family, her grandma has curly hair so she would want to make it from cotton wool balls to look like her short curly hair.
Why not give our Family Tree Activity a Try Next
Resources Recommended for the Family Theme for Preschoolers
More Ideas on the Topic of Family for Preschoolers
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Check out these other ideas based on the theme of family for preschoolers.
Bookmaking for a Preschool Family Theme from Fun A Day
Finding My Family on a Map from Powerful Mothering
Preschool Writing Activity: Letters to Family from Mom Inspired Life
Cooking with Kids: Family Recipe Books from Growing Book By Book
Our Family Tree: Sorting Family Members from Still Playing School
Family Themed Sensory Bin from Little Bins for Little Hands
Tips for Using Skype to Connect with Family from The Educators’ Spin On It
Family Counting from Tiny Tots Adventures
Jamaican Games for Fine and Gross Motor Skills from Learning 2 Walk
Family Footprints from Capri +3
Pin this Family Theme Activity Plan and Creative Project to Come Back to