How to Design a Poster for Children

Updated April 17, 2017

They decorate your classroom; they instruct your students. Posters hang on the walls of classrooms everywhere. They cover a myriad of subjects but you cannot always find one you need. When that happens, create your own. According to Hess, Tosney and Liegel of NCSU, a poster uses a different, visual grammar. A poster shows, it doesn't tell. Follow these steps to make attractive posters that help teach your students.

Formulate the idea for your poster in your mind. Determine the purpose of your poster. You can teach, encourage or inspire. Visualise the theme with the designs and pictures. Keep the age of the children using the poster in mind as you prepare.

Outline your poster idea on an 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Include the drawings and the words as you want them to appear on the poster. Perfect it on the small paper before you transfer the idea to the larger poster board. Consider showing the sketch to children in the age group for reactions and suggestions.

Create a one and one-half to two inch border around the four edges of the poster. The border can be decorated or solid. Base your decision for decorative or plain on the contents of the poster. Busy posters need plain borders. Plain posters need busy borders. Use poster paints or markers to create a bold border.

Choose pictures and designs that intrigue children. Popular cartoon characters or television show personalities help attract attention to the message of the poster. Allow the message to dictate the images chosen for your poster. Use pictures that are neat and easily recognisable or clear crisp designs.

Write your message with stencils or cut-out letters. Use age-appropriate language. Create a powerful, succinct message that children will relate to or find easy to remember. Place your message on the poster with vibrant colours that draw their eyes to it. Use poster paints or markers if you choose to use stencils.

Keep the message, and therefore the poster, organised and clear. Give one message to each poster you create and make certain the message is appropriate for children. Use the pictures to convey the greatest part of the message.


Cut pictures from magazines if your drawing skills are not strong. Listen to your students and use their interests to reach them through posters. Posters can also be created on the computer. See Resources for computer-based poster ideas.


Messy art work detracts from the poster. Copyrighted characters cannot be used if you plan to sell your posters for children.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Stencils
  • Poster board
  • Markers or poster paint
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About the Author

Joan Collins began writing in 2008. Specializing in health, marriage, crafts and money, her articles appear on eHow. Collins earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Arts in instructional technology from American InterContinental University.