You may pass by our nursery display boards with barely a glance in the rush to settle your child in the morning. But it’s worth knowing that there are several very good reasons why we take the trouble to carefully mount the children’s creations.
The displays of your children’s artwork are much more than just decoration.
To promote the children’s self esteem
This is, perhaps, one of the most important reasons for putting up children’s work. You will already be very aware of how proud your little ones are of their handiwork and at nursery we are very keen to foster that sense of pride. A confident, happy child is one with high self-esteem and we are always delighted to show children how seriously we take their hard work.
To foster a sense of belonging
Whilst children’s independence is very important, we also need to demonstrate to the children how wonderful and productive it can be to work as a team. We often explain to the children that we intend to create a whole display from their work, and we discuss the kinds of things we want to put on it. Children learn to share ideas and praise each other, as well as overcoming obstacles together.
To improve skills
If a child knows that their work is likely to be displayed, they often try really hard to master the necessary skills to create that work. Eg, cutting skills or writing skills, or even just holding a pencil or paintbrush correctly. It’s really important that we reward children for ‘doing their best’ or ‘trying,’ and this is one way that we can do that.
To summarise learning
We also put together displays to demonstrate to parents and other visitors what the children have been learning. You get such a small snapshot of nursery life when you pick-up and drop-off, that displays are a good way to illustrate what we’ve been up to using photographs and descriptions.
To record progress
Our nursery displays are often added to over time which enables us to show the children’s progress. A picture board might begin, for example, with a child’s favourite story. As the weeks go on, we can illustrate the changes in a child’s understanding of that story – from a love of the pictures, for instance, to an appreciation of the characters.
To provide opportunities to explore new materials
How many babies get the chance to make footprint pictures at home? It’s one of the beauties of nursery life – we don’t mind the mess!