Tomorrow I am going to a school as a visiting author and artist, and I will be leading an art activity around The Body Book. The workshop will be with children in kindergarten and grade one and integrating mixed media. The general idea is to have a background of collaged paper bursting out like sunbeams from a centre where a child’s portrait of their body is glued on top. The main idea is that their bodies are great and special, so the teacher and I wanted to incorporate positive messaging with the sunbeams. We decided that we wanted to offer pre written printed out messages to save on time and help out the students who are not confident writers. Of course the kids will have the choice to write their own if they like, but having pre printed messages seemed like a good starting point.
I had some ideas but wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, so searched online, and was suprised to find that there wasn’t much out there specifically for body positive affirmations for kids. So, I made one myself and wanted to share it in case anyone out there can use it as a resource or for inspiration.
Supplies for Craft:
watercolour or card stock paper (one small sheet for body, one for background)
white glue with a little water
containers or plates for glue
strips of paper for collaging
brushes for glue
watercolour paint and brushes
paper with affirmations written or printed on
Draw body on small paper in pencil. Outline in sharpie and erase pencil lines.
Paint body in watercolour paint. Leave to dry (this will be cut out later when dry)
Background: collage paper strips out from centre by laying down a layer of white glue and water mix with a brush onto paper, lying strip down, then covering in glue. Continue until paper covered. Strips can be hanging over edge of paper, then cut later when dry.
After everything is dry, cut out body and glue into centre in the same manner as strips of paper. Cut strips to fit background paper.
I have FINALLY put together a resource to go along with ‘The Body Book,” after meaning to for a looong time. I’ve done this art lesson in classes and day cares and it is such a fun and meaningful way to help kids rethink their relationships with their bodies.
Even in kindergarten and early primary grades kids are learning to judge their bodies by how they look, and whether they “fit” the ideal image they see in media, toys and adult role models. Sadly, it’s not rare to hear a girl in grade one call herself “fat.”
I wanted to shift the focus to one of celebration and gratitude, so this activity is all about answering the question: “What is my favourite thing to do in my body?”
The results kids come up with are diverse, vibrant and fun. When these go up on the wall the classroom turns into a place where EVERY BODY is celebrated for who they are.