Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Cutting Out Children's Work to Display


Recommended Posts

Hello all,

In our staff meeting we had a little dicussion regarding how children's work should be displayed. I would like to ask for the opininions of people on here before offering my own.

The disagreement was about whether or not you should cut out a child's work before displaying it (under 3s really as older ones would be given the option to do so themselves if they wanted to). For example, let's say that you have given your toddler an A3 size sheet of paper to do a painting on, they have only painted the middle section of the page and you want to display it on the wall; do you cut off the excess paper that they have not used and generally cut around whatever they have painted, or do you put it up as it is?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it depends what it is!

If you have asked a child to paint a picture of x then you can cut it out to dispay it BUT if a child has painted a picture that you then decide to display, it should be displayed in its entirety. Cutting this picture distracts from the child's placement on the paper and their creativity is devalued.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leave it as it is - the child has decided to only part that part, so it should be left as such.

 

I did this when I was on a teaching practice years ago and the teacher nearly bit my head off. I'm not entirely convinced that children that young make a fully conscious decision to paint in the middle, top, bottom etc.... however, that is their work and their expression.

 

Of course, if all the children are only painting the bottom third, you need to lower your easel ;)

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the responses, you all seem to be on my side. I feel that anything you do to their work is damaging, and unless they tell you there is no way of knowing what it is that they have painted. So how can you possibly cut it out? We can't possibly know what they have painted and whether or not the sections left blank have been left blank intentionally or not. Further, by altering the background of the image they have created you are changing the image itself and how it appears - to the child, it may look entirely different once you've cut it out. Purely hypothetical of course, but if you leave it as it is there is no harm done ... if you cut it out, there may be.

Me and my manager agreed to disagree under the premise that we are having training on how to do wall displays soon (fascinating, I know) which should clear it up for me. I can't see any reasonable explanation though, and will likely be arguing with the trainer if he/she says we should cut their work out.

If you wanna cut my toddler's paintings, you'll have to cut through me first.

I wouldn't ask a child to draw 'x' for the record, they can draw whatever they like. Immerse them in mark-making tools and equipment, provide carefully selected provocations and ask open-ended questions about what they are drawing (and all that other stuff we all know already!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with all already said. Recently our older children were asked to draw a circle , paint it using either dark and/ or light green paint using a variety of sponges, corks etc cut it out and use it to make a display of the hungry caterpillar , it looks fab , it gave us an opportunity to observe many skills and for them to have real involvement in their display .

Other art work either goes home or children are encouraged to put in their own art book to take home each term .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would like to hear about the display training when you have done it. After years and years of doing "traditional" style displays I now follow an idea from ABC does, where each child has their own space on a display board and can put anything they want to up. I love it and it is very personal.

I agree about not cutting the work, as tempting as it may be at times!

I do sometimes on occasions ask a child to draw something, but I only ever want their interpretation, so its more of a prompt. I have a little boy who is suddenly taking an interest in actual drawing and to include his love of castles, I asked him to draw a castle. As long as they are free to mark make and be as creative as they want most of the time, I can see nothing wrong with a few prompts from time to time.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too use prompts Zigzag, very good point - but then again, if they're old enough to understand the prompt given then they're probably old enough to try cutting out their picture by themselves, ask you to cut it out or tell you they don't want it cut out. So the original question mostly relates to under 3s (or paintings left on the rack).

Having their own spaces sounds lovely! It wouldn't really work for us though

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did the individual panels for my older group last year. I was fortunate to only have a dozen children in a room that was dedicated to them as pre-reception children. It worked really well and I loved it when they brought in things of their own to put on. It meant that parents and grandparents could immediately see what their child had done. Only downside was the non-mark making boys, 'why haven't you done a painting/drawing/collage etc. To negate that I used to set up one or two activities per half term where everyone did teabag splatting, or ink dropping or something, so that there was always something on each child's panel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cait - us boys are notoriously less interested in mark-making! I was going to offer some ideas on how to encourage it but then thought maybe we could go a little more out-of-the-box ... do your boys like to use cameras? If you have cameras that they can use, perhaps they could take photos, look through them all and decide which ones they would like displayed in their section? Or something like that anyway.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not disagreeing with above comments ( though would have to plead guilty to the above crime on the odd occasion :/,) but out of interest do none of you name or annotate children's work either ? Maybe they don't want us writing on/labelling it either even when they've said what it is, 10 minutes later it's often something else.

 

'Sand draw' is a good app for mark making for reluctant mark makers, when done they can click camera to save a photo of it ( can be printed) and they like to watch the 'wave' wash it away :)

Edited by Mouseketeer
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yes, if a child said something about their work or their photograph or whatever, then it was always written onto a paper speech bubble and added. Vital recording of the child's voice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point well raised Mouseketeer. I personally only put a child's name on the back of their work or on something seperate, and only after I have asked them if they would like me to (if old enough to answer). If they say something about their work then I'll write it on a seperate piece of paper/sticky note that I can put up next to their work so it doesn't change their original work. That being said though, if what it is changes in 10 minutes then surely they have been using their work during that time (meaning it hasn't been on a drying rack), so why would you take it off them to annotate? Moreover, if they're able to tell me what their work is and a bit about it, then they would be old enough for me to talk to them about labelling/annotating it and whether or not they would like me to. I wouldn't just take it away and write all over it.

As for the other point, I know I mentioned the use of cameras, but they're the only screen-based technologies that I support the use of in Early Years settings (so no apps). That's another story though! haha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not disagreeing with above comments ( though would have to plead guilty to the above crime on the odd occasion :/,) but out of interest do none of you name or annotate children's work either ? Maybe they don't want us writing on/labelling it either even when they've said what it is, 10 minutes later it's often something else.

'Sand draw' is a good app for mark making for reluctant mark makers, when done they can click camera to save a photo of it ( can be printed) and they like to watch the 'wave' wash it away :)

Tried the sand app today, boys just loved it thank you for mentioning it

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, I would (nearly always!) leave a child's work as it is unless they have chosen to do something for a specific display. I did get quite obsessed at one time about not asking children to do creative work, however, I now view it in a slightly different way. I always have free choice creative resources available and will at times ask children to do something but always with choices in order to practise a particular skill. I think that it is OK (don't shoot be down) to do this from time to time as long as it is not a 'Fluffy Duck' style activity with no choices or options. As long as there is learning there (it may well not be EAD) then I don't think we should get completely hung up on it (and believe me, I've been in that place!). As long as that is not the only thing on offer then it is not going to harm them.

I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment, as the next class to me have a new TA and a trainee TA who are continually do 'Fluffy Duck' and when I say 'Fluffy Duck', I mean to the worst extreme and I'm biting my tongue not to say anything!

Green Hippo x

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

The aforementioned training took place today and I am happy to feedback that we should not be cutting out children's work, unless you have a very good reason to do so. To conlcude then, it seems we were all right! Thanks for your input guys.

I'm not sure what else there is to pass on from the training, did anyone have any questions?

One point made was to write the child's name and age on a seperate piece of paper, attaching it to the top left of their artwork. I do agree with this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing I hate more than "cookie cutter" pictures, esp in the early years. In fact I remember having a whole lesson on it at college and it always stuck in my mind.

I think with regard to labelling the work or adding the name it really is whether it's needed. So if it is for the purpose of a display maybe where the children are talking about the work maybe as part of a story (I did this with the ugly duckling) then I would add speech bubbles. But again it's whether it's needed...

I once worked with a TA who was doing long term cover for us who asked me if I would like her to strim the children's work ready for display I said no the children will do that (it was part of a skills task for KS1, preparing their artwork for a school display, taking pride in work etc.) and she was horrified, not only that we allowe the children to use the strimmer under supervision but that we should trust them to display their own work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, I would (nearly always!) leave a child's work as it is unless they have chosen to do something for a specific display. I did get quite obsessed at one time about not asking children to do creative work, however, I now view it in a slightly different way. I always have free choice creative resources available and will at times ask children to do something but always with choices in order to practise a particular skill. I think that it is OK (don't shoot be down) to do this from time to time as long as it is not a 'Fluffy Duck' style activity with no choices or options. As long as there is learning there (it may well not be EAD) then I don't think we should get completely hung up on it (and believe me, I've been in that place!). As long as that is not the only thing on offer then it is not going to harm them.

I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment, as the next class to me have a new TA and a trainee TA who are continually do 'Fluffy Duck' and when I say 'Fluffy Duck', I mean to the worst extreme and I'm biting my tongue not to say anything!

Green Hippo x

I have now stopped biting my tongue as this drives me mad......2 staff (one a graduate,other nearly lev 2........) cutting 75 all the same shape every monday morning....so this morning...same 2 drawing and cutting ice cream cones...'how many have you done i asked'...only 4.......DONT DO ANY MORE I said........' the idea is the children have to learn from the activity...let them cut out themselves.....' but they are too slow ' ( air was blue ) lots of tongue biting.....after which i said It is not a race ....let them cut their own......moods for the next 2 hours....It is my nursery and 30 years of experience up against their 10 months and 1 year in my setting....plus I pay their wages .( we have had space ships/rabbits,chicks/aliens/ you name it they draw,copy and cut it out .Then this morning as so many items in the going home from their fluffy duck items.....they were all thrown away :( More tongue biting !!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have now stopped biting my tongue as this drives me mad......2 staff (one a graduate,other nearly lev 2........) cutting 75 all the same shape every monday morning....so this morning...same 2 drawing and cutting ice cream cones...'how many have you done i asked'...only 4.......DONT DO ANY MORE I said........' the idea is the children have to learn from the activity...let them cut out themselves.....' but they are too slow ' ( air was blue ) lots of tongue biting.....after which i said It is not a race ....let them cut their own......moods for the next 2 hours....It is my nursery and 30 years of experience up against their 10 months and 1 year in my setting....plus I pay their wages .( we have had space ships/rabbits,chicks/aliens/ you name it they draw,copy and cut it out .Then this morning as so many items in the going home from their fluffy duck items.....they were all thrown away :( More tongue biting !!

Good for you Tish! Like I said in my PP this was something we covered at college, I can't believe it isn't taught now! I do think it's the mentality of thinking they must have something to take home with them to show the parents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)