66 chapter 3
Displaying Children’s Art
Displaying children’s art is very important. It
should be displayed year-round. Try to hang art-
work at two heights: low, so children can easily see
it, and high, so adults can easily read any docu-
mentation panels that may be included. Present a
diversity of paintings, drawings, photos, and lan-
guage. Hang the work on the classroom walls or on
Here are some tips for displaying art in the class-
room: Art outdoors changes the experience.
Layering and Revisiting
• If using a bulletin board, keep the backing
simple and without designs. A solid color will
accent the children’s work without becoming
distracting. Younger children learn best through hands-on ex-
periences. This often includes revisiting previous
work, repeating techniques, or trying something
different. There is great benefit to allowing children
to explore and to explore some more.
Layering work involves bringing out an old
project and adding a new dimension. For any lay-
ering activity, the first layer is paint. The layering
can continue using more paint, as well as adding
other materials and mediums of art production.
For example, on the first day, the project could
begin with darker shades of paint and rollers. The
second day could bring lighter tints of paint and
brushes, possibly even thinner brushes. And fur-
ther yet, the third day could bring oil pastels col-
ored on top. Numerous possibilities exist! You can
try many techniques, chosen either by you or by
the children themselves. Work can last for weeks
this way. Sometimes you might chose to put the
work away and bring it back out after several days
or weeks. Should you choose to give them a fresh
start, painting on a base color creates a clean can-
vas. You could then add textures, paints, glue, and
assorted materials. The possibilities are endless! In
my experience, the more you and the children ex-
periment with this, the more ideas you will develop.
• Consider using a backing of fabric instead of
paper, as the fabric will last all year (or longer)
and won’t fade or show staple holes.
• Don’t overcrowd the artwork.
• Trim artwork only if necessary. Be certain not
to disturb the child’s actual work, for instance,
by cutting their work into a shape to fit a
theme. • Borders are fine as long as they do not distract
from the children’s work. Simple is best.
• Mounting children’s work gives definition and
adds beauty. I often use black poster board cut
in half as a year-long mounting for each child’s
work throughout the year. It holds twelve-by-
eighteen-inch paper, and you can secure a label
at the bottom with the child’s name typed on.
• Children’s language about their work can be
added, as well as teacher dictation about the
process and the emotions of the child during
• Adding photos of the children taken while
they are working on the art really captures the