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How to teach kids to make posters

Updated February 21, 2017

In just a few steps, you can help children plan the content and the layout for posters. Together, you can gather the materials and supplies you will need. Then the children can express themselves and have fun as they get the right message across.

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  1. Consider the age of the children. To ensure success, be sure your suggestions are age-appropriate. Children of any age will enjoy using markers, paints, stickers, glue or glitter. With supervision, most children can manage scissors or hole-punchers. For examples, older children might enjoy adding more dimension to their posters using hot glue guns and pine cones.

  2. Assign tasks to the children based on their skill levels. For example, if you know some of the children are particularly creative or talented writers, they might be in charge of the headlines or body text. If some children tend to shy away from artistic endeavours, they might be encouraged to take on a simple task such as painting the background a solid colour.

  3. Divide larger groups of children into smaller groups. Two or three children per poster board is a good guideline to follow.

  4. Paint or draw on poster board while explaining to the children what you are doing. If they see how you do it, they will have a better sense of your suggestions than if you only tell them.

  5. Use stencils to make clear bold letters. Ask a child to take a stencil of the appropriate letter and lay it on the poster board in the right position. Ask another child to hold the stencil in place. The first child can then trace the inside of the stencil to make the letter. Have the children switch jobs for each subsequent letter.

  6. Cut construction paper letters or shapes to glue onto the poster board.

  7. As you create the model poster "think out loud" to demonstrate the process you are recommending for the children. For example, say something like this: "I really want people to notice that we are having a sale, so I am going to make the word 'sale' very big."

  8. Give the children the supplies they need, such as paint brushes or markers. Ask them to collect the items as appropriate.

  9. Determine as a group what the focus of the posters should be, such as decisions about images and text.

  10. Provide guidance as necessary. Pay attention to the children and what they are communicating with their bodies and their words. As they approach their work, some children will dive right in and some will hesitate, waiting for specific instructions.

  11. Instruct the children that the point of all art is to have fun. Resist the temptation to start them off with a "race" mode (such as "ready, set, go!") but instead gently suggest the time to create has arrived.

  12. Watch the children make their posters. Make yourself available for questions. Provide suggestions and encouragement as appropriate.

  13. Tip

    For older children a group project may not be as satisfying as an individual project. As your budget allows, consider offering one poster board to each child.


    Some children will not feel they have the permission to do what comes naturally to them. Be sure you are available to offer concrete ideas and suggestions. Too much oversight can inhibit children's creativity. When in doubt, keep your thoughts to yourself and let the children play.

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Things You'll Need

  • Poster board or large paper
  • Markers or paints
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Construction paper (optional)

About the Author

Heather Denkmire

Heather Denkmire has been a professional writer since 1995. Her writing credits include a book, "Fact or Fiction: The Truth about Anxiety and Depression," and many articles for a range of publications including the "Houston Business Journal," "MaineBiz" and "Teen Celebrity" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with an English minor from Skidmore College.

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