About Me

My photo
Early childhood education has been my life for over 30 years. I have taught all age groups from infants to 5-year-olds. I was a director for five years in the 1980s, but I returned to the classroom 22 years ago. My passion is watching the ways children explore and discover their world. In the classroom, everything starts with the reciprocal relationships between adults and children and between the children themselves. With that in mind, I plan and set up activities. But that is just the beginning. What actually happens is a flow that includes my efforts to invite, respond and support children's interface with those activities and with others in the room. Oh yeh, and along the way, the children change the activities to suit their own inventiveness and creativity. Now the processes become reciprocal with the children doing the inviting, responding and supporting. Young children are the best learners and teachers. I am truly fortunate to be a part of their journey.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Back in May I traded posts with Alistair Bryce-Clegg from the UK.  We are up to it again.   (You do realize us fellows have to stick together.)  When I saw the Mini-Me post recently, I asked if I could host it on my blog.  I especially like the point he makes that "there is nothing more powerful for self esteem than having a little 'you' that you can take around with you".  This looks like a great way to start out the school year in a way the children can relate to---to themselves.

I hope you find it as valuable as I did.


I know that I have written about these before but they are great and a perfect 'start of
the year' activity.

 Hamstel Infant School

The idea of a Mini-Me is that you create your class or group in miniature. The children
can then use these miniatures in their play.

There is nothing more powerful for your self esteem than having a little 'you' that
you can take around with you or create fabulous fantasy small worlds to play in.

Hamstel Infant School

Mini-Me's can be really effective in helping children to develop language and
communication skills as well as personal social skills and positive behaviours.

Hamstel Infant School

How to do it

What You Need :

  • Digital camera
  • Printer
  • Laminator
  • Small yoghurt drink bottle (one per child)
  • Glue

What to do :
  1. Take a full length photograph of each child . It is worth spending the time to make
    sure that they are all of a similar size. If you are taking them in your setting then find a spot to stand the children and always have the camera in the same place
  2. Cut around the photograph
  3. Laminate
  4. Attach to the front of the yoghurt drink bottle

Tip:  PVA glue can take a long time to dry. Try attaching your photograph to the bottle with self adhesive Velcro or a glue gun.

You could also try using the bottle to store special messages or gifts to or from the children.

Don't forget to Mini-Me yourself so that the children can use you in their small world play. This can really help them with familiarisation. The downside of having the adults in the setting as a Mini-Me is that you really find out what you sound like to the children!

Hamstel Infant School

I have successfully used family Mini-Me's with children who are finding it difficult to settle. Far from making the children more anxious, if they have Mini-Me's of their significant family members it allows them to involve them in their play and gives them a sense of security.

Kids AllowedNursery

Once you have made a set you will find yourself making them again and again. It doesn't stop with your children, once you have got the hang of laminating a picture and sticking it to a bottle, the world is your Oyster!

Have fun Mini-Me-ing!


Alistair Bryce-Clegg
Early Years Consultant
07772 387 203


  1. I love this idea and have used it for many years, with a slight twist. I create a "storyboard", a neighborhood scene with buildings, stoops and sidewalks. In all the buildings are doors and windows which flap open. The faces of the children have velcro as do the inside of the doors and windows. I also create action "bodies" for the faces to attach (running, skipping rope, etc.) The kids use the board to put their faces and those of their friends in and out of the houses, on the street, etc. So delightful to hear the stories that get told and played out. Great for beginning of the year when separation from caregivers is an issue.

    1. I like your twist to velcro the faces on the story board and action figures. I have not tried it myself but I am very intrigued by the thought of the children manipulating figures and stories with themselves as characters.

  2. I just posted a very similar post on my blog last week! I agree, mini-mes are great! We put ours on lollipop sticks and put out a basket of pegs to make them stand up if needed. Like the yoghurt pot ideas though too...!


    1. I checked out your post. Your documentation made it easy to see how the children used it. I especially like the last picture of the boy looking at his miniature self standing in block structure. Thanks for the link.