What are the benefits of children drawing family portraits?

Young children’s personal and social identities are directly connected to their families. They understand themselves based on the people they love most, know best and have learned everything from – making the subject of ‘family’ deeply personal and meaningful.

family portraits for montessori children

Naturally curious, children enjoy learning about their friends’ families, which may look very different to their own! Some families are bigger and others smaller, some live together and others apart, some children have step parents, siblings or grandparents and other children may have family members on a different continent altogether. This wonderful uniqueness allows us, at St Andrew’s Montessori, to celebrate difference and encourage conversation around acceptance and empathy.

Children’s art work can also be a visual reference for diversity. When children have drawn family portraits, we might ask them to tell us (the group) about their pictures (engaging verbal, thinking and expression skills); giving other children a chance to ask questions. This is a great opportunity for social interaction, cooperation and the development of interpersonal skills.

The process of drawing or painting a family portrait is an opportunity for children to reflect on their relationships, facilitating a deeper emotional connection between them and their family members, which in turn fosters a sense of belonging and emotional well-being.

When children have created a beautiful, quirky, wonderful picture of their family, display it! Ask them about it! And most of all, treasure it.