Newswise — Students at LSU's Child Development Laboratory Preschool are working on a body image project using paper tracings to stimulate discussion.

"As early childhood educators, we believe that promoting an appreciation of diversity and a respect of differences is part of the process of helping children develop positive body images," said Carol Aghayan, an instructor for the preschool.

"This type of experience easily lends itself to discussions about our bodies and our abilities, and it encourages children to accept themselves and others."

The teachers at the preschool traced the children's bodies on large sheets of paper and then provided a multicultural spectrum of paint colors, which allowed each child to give his or her tracing an accurate skin tone.

Then the children added clothing to the traced images. Some children selected to use precut materials, while others designed their own clothing with fabric. The students are currently making Easter bonnets to add to their traced images.

The teachers encouraged the children to discuss their thoughts throughout the creative process. They found that the clothing designs and selections proved to be as individual as each child.

The preschool's project coincided with the Student Union's recent display and discussion of "The Body Image Project" by artist Larry Kirkwood, who uses artwork to display the beauty behind the different shapes and sizes of the human body. About the Child Development Laboratory Preschool

The LSU Child Development Laboratory Preschool is located in the School of Human Ecology on Tower Drive. The program serves 20 children ages three and four in the part-time preschool program, which operates Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. The LSU Lab Preschool is not only a learning environment for young children, but it also serves as a laboratory for undergraduate and graduate students studying early childhood education and child development.

The primary objective in selecting children for the lab preschool is to provide university students an opportunity to observe, study and participate with children from a variety of situations and backgrounds. Enrollment is composed of a balance of children with diverse backgrounds based on age, race, gender, family income, single and multiple births and numerous other factors.

Related links* LSU Child Development Laboratory Preschool at* LSU's School of Human Ecology at * LSU's lab preschool selected as a national model program at* LSU Helps Students Deal With Body Image Dilemmas at

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