A Place of Our Own
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Family Portrait Book
Type: Crafts   Skills: Language & LiteracyPlay & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
Today’s activity is a family portrait book – a book where children can share similarities and differences in their families. The book contains drawings made by the children of their own families. It’s a great activity to share with children whose language may be different from yours. Family Portrait Book
What We Learn
Similarities and differences
Language development
Early literacy skills
Supply List
Blank paper
Construction paper
Markers or crayons (including flesh tone colors)
Hole puncher
Prepare for the activity by leading a discussion with the children about families. Perhaps read a book about how all of our families our different. Get the children to open up by asking open-ended questions.

Next, give each child a blank piece of paper. Have the children use markers or crayons to draw members of their own family. Be sure to make available markers or crayons that include a variety of flesh tone colors. Flesh tone markers can usually be found at most art supply stores.

As the children are drawing, speak with each individual child and ask them more open-ended questions about their family. If the children are able to write, have them write words to accompany their drawing, such as “Me,” “Mommy,” “Daddy,” or “My big brother.” If the children are unable to write, then you can write in those words or names for them.

When the children are done with their drawings, have them bring home their drawings so that their own family can make further notes on it. If the child’s family speaks a different language at home, then the family should write in their own language.

Once the children have returned with their drawing from home, collect them together. Make a front and back cover for the family album by using construction paper and by decorating it. You can give it a title like “Our Families.” Bind your family album together by punching holes in the side and placing yarn through the holes to tie the different pages together.

After you’ve assembled your family album, read the album aloud to the children, showing every child’s family. It’s the perfect opportunity for the provider to point out, for instance, that a child speaks Korean at home. As you go through each child’s drawing, make sure to ask open-ended questions of the children about the differences and similarities among their families.

For children with learning differences or developmental differences, the provider should work with them to do the same thing as the other children and to facilitate the process. The activity can be adapted to meet the needs of children with varying abilities.
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