Kids' posters are great educational tools, as well as fun art projects for them to participate in. Encouraging children to make and decorate their own posters allows them to learn without even realizing what they are doing. There is a large number of Internet sites with free poster downloads to print (see References), but it is easy to create your own with materials from craft stores and magazine cut-outs.
Letter and Number Posters
Posters featuring letters and numbers are simple to make. Get children to draw or write the alphabet or numbers across a large sheet of colored paper with colored crayons. Supply them with a pile of old magazines, children's scissors and glue. Have them cut out pictures starting with each letter of the alphabet and stick them on next to the relevant letter. For number posters, supply them with sheets of stickers and ask them to stick on the correct number under each figure.
Most children have a favorite animal. Ask them to find pictures of this animal in old wildlife magazines, cut it out, and stick it in the center of a large sheet of paper. Use the Internet or an encyclopedia to help the children learn more about the animal's habitat and ask them to draw pictures about that around their stuck-on creature. Write the animal's name and a list of places where it lives, what it eats, and other animal facts around the edges.
Positive messages help enforce a child's sense of well-being. Use stencils to write the message in the center of the poster and ask children to color in the outlines. Ask them to think about the ideas the message conveys and to draw pictures illustrating their own examples of times and situations where they have experienced the positive message, such as when they were happy, working hard, or kind to others.
Cautionary posters should not scare children, but are a good way to encourage them to think about road safety, stranger-danger, and various unsafe situations. Discuss the issues with them and ask them to come up with a safety message. Help them write it at the top of a large sheet of paper and then illustrate it with drawings or magazine cut-outs. Ask at your local doctor's office, police station, or public library if they have any leaflets about the topic, which the children can cut out or copy images from.
Mary Stewart has been a news and features journalist since 2000. Her work has appeared in U.K. national newspapers and magazines, including "The Times (of London)," "The Sunday Telegraph," "The Mail on Sunday" and "The Guardian". She has a B.A. in journalism from Napier University.