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Updated: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm Published: 8/11/2003 11:11 pm

Unless a child has a natural artistic ability, it may be difficult for him or her to draw or paint a self portrait that is strikingly similar to the way he or she really looks. Even so, children can have fun making self-portraits that, if nothing else, reflect their personality and the way they perceive themselves. A fun craft project to try is to make life-size self-portraits. It will probably take at least two children to complete this project: One to do the tracing while the other one lies on the paper. You will need crayons or marking pens, large sheets of butcher paper, and paints. To begin, have one child lie flat on a sheet of butcher paper with his or her arms and legs situated slightly away from his or her body. Have the other child carefully trace around the outline making sure to include fingers and both feet. Then, have the child that did the outlining lie on some paper while the other child does the tracing. Now the decorating begins. Have the children decorate their portraits to look like them. Make sure they include the tiniest details such as dimples, curly or straight hair, braces, and any jewelry they like to wear. They can even draw the clothes they’re wearing. When finished, cut out the finished self-portraits. They can be hung on a bedroom wall or closet door. You can also glue some long sticks to the back of the portraits and make a life-size puppet or paper doll. This is a fun project to do at the beginning and end of the year to measure how much your child has grown.

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