Cut out People
I love these little people and they are so versatile. I asked the members of the ELSA Group to come up with ideas on how to use them with children. Here are their suggestions and some of mine too.
- Decorate them with different facial expressions. A fantastic prompt for discussing feelings. Use them as flash cards or pairs games.
- Ask the child to draw their face and then fill the body with all their strengths and talents. On the other side they could write down some things they would like to be able to do or things they aspire to.
- Ask the child to draw their angry face and then turn it around and ask them what emotion is behind the angry face. Are they really feeling sad? or is there something else bothering them. Perhaps they are worried and this is coming out as anger. Sometimes children’s anxieties come out as angry outbursts.
- Look at social skills. What social skills does a person need? eg. manners, being a good sport, honesty, forgiveness, eye contact, listening skills.
- Make them into worry dolls. The child can decorate and tell all their worries to their doll or write their worry on the back of the doll. Writing down your worries is a very effective way of dealing with them.
- Growth and fixed mindset. Write all the things needed for a growth mindset on one side and a fixed mindset on the other side. Which is best?
- Use as an emotional register. How does the child feel today? Ask them to draw their face and ask them to colour in the parts of their body where they feel that emotion. On the other side they could draw the emotion that they would like to feel. How can they feel that way? What do they need to do?
- Use the body part to explore anger and anxiety. What physical symptoms do these emotions create in the body.
- What physical symptoms do you get from a positive emotion such as happiness, excitement etc.
- Use to write positive characteristics of a friend.
- Exploring difference. What is the same in each person and what is different. Children could decorate a cut out as themselves and then compare with other children in the group or just discuss with an adult.
- Use as a ‘getting to know you’ activity for your first session. Both of you to decorate your own cut out and discuss.
- Ask the child to write all their likes on one side and dislikes on the other side.
- Stick the cut outs together in a chain using the hands. Ask the child to decorate the middle one as themselves. Using a restorative approach ask the child how their behaviour impacts on the people close to them. They could have mum and dad on either side of them. How does dad feel when they behave in that way? How does mum feel? How does their friend feel? How does their teacher feel? This may help develop empathy.
- Use to create their family. Who is in their family. The child can decorate each cut out as a member of their family. A great way to get to know them and their family.
- Laminate them and use them with coloured dry wipe pens in early years, areas of provision.
- Use them as a template for children to draw around.
- Decorate the face as, for example, happy. What other words mean the same or similar to happy. Child can write them on the body shape. Examples could be – joyful, jolly, delighted, good, fine, cheerful, content, merry, pleased and so on. Repeat with other emotions.
- Use to discuss bullying – How does bullying impact on a person? How does it make them feel? Perhaps use with a bully to discuss how their actions affect others.
- Decorate with different skin tones to discuss difference.
- Discuss disabilities. What would it be like if you couldn’t use your leg? arm? hand? etc.
- All about me – child decorates with words, pictures to describe themselves.
- Transition – child to decorate a cut out as themselves for displaying in the new classroom.
- Exploring emotions – I feel sad when… child draws the expression and writes all the things that make them feel sad. On the back there could be an opposite emotion – eg sad/happy – angry/calm – anxious/calm.
- Compliments – each child in a group decorates the front and writes their name on the back (in the middle). Each cut out is passed around the group and each child writes a positive word about that person.
- People we trust – ask the child to decorate the person into someone who is trustworthy. What qualities does that person have to be trustworthy? How does that person make them feel.
- Self-esteem- what gives a person good self-esteem? Write those things on the person shape.
- Decorate and use as puppets for role play.
- Stick two together around the edge but leave a gap at the top of the head. How do I feel inside? Child could write down feelings, worries etc and post inside the body shapes.
- Who do I admire? Decorate the cut out as the person they most admire. Why do they admire them?
- Decorate as a superhero. Which superhero would it be? Why do they admire that superhero? What superpower would they like? What would their superhero name be?
- Draw their face and then write all their wishes and dreams on the body.
- Look at different forms of communication. Aggressive, Passive and Assertive. Write the characteristics on all three styles of communication.
- Labelling and naming body parts.
You can purchase these little cut out people from Poundstretcher, Home Bargains, and I believe The Works.
Thank you to the members of the ELSA Group and the Teaching Assistant group for their ideas. If you can think of any more uses then please do comment below. I will add them to the list.