Big Self-Portrait Activity

4.0 based on 2 ratings
Updated on Aug 17, 2012

Imagine the most gigantic coloring book; and then imagine it looks just like your child! Giant self-portraits are a fantastic way for kids to learn different parts of the body and to try and match colors of crayons with colors they find in their clothing. The result will be a huge poster of your child that he creates with a little help from mom or dad.

What You Need:

  • Giant sheet of brown or white butcher paper, at least 3 feet in length
  • Crayons or oil pastels

What You Do:

  1. Lay the butcher paper flat on the ground and have your child lay down in the center of the paper with his arms slightly separated from his side and his legs slightly apart.
  2. Help him by drawing an outline around his body. It’s OK if some clothing alters the edges slightly, or if the drawing is slightly larger than the child.
  3. Discuss with your child the parts of the body and different types of clothing. Discuss where facial features belong. Ask them what color their clothing is.
  4. Have him color in his self-portrait adding in as many details as possible, including eye color and hair color. Encourage him to recreate any patterns, or details on his clothing such as pockets or buttons.
  5. Hang the giant replica of your child on a wall and observe how fast he grows over the next several months.


Giant Self-portraits also look great cut out and taped to a wall. Your child may need help cutting out the drawing.

Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

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