Refrigerator Art

By Sherm Nichols


Two children, siblings, each come running to their father with pictures they have made for him. The children, rather than caring most about pleasing their father, quickly make the presentation of their efforts into a competition. Ultimately, the father takes the moment and uses it to teach his children that their love for him behind the pictures is what’s most important to him, and that they shouldn’t fight over whose is better.


Two children, about age 8-9


(Setting: the father is sitting at a table reading, or in a chair with a remote, as the two children come racing in with papers colored on.)

Both Children: “Daddy! Daddy! We did the pictures you told us to do! We’re done!

Dad: That’s great, kids. You finished sooner than I expected. Let’s have a look here…(takes them both in hand, obviously holding them backwards so that the picture is facing out). This is strange. They look like pictures of a big polar bear eating marshmallows in a snowstorm. I guess that’s very creative though…

Dick: Dad! You’re holding them wrong! Look, the picture’s on that side (turning the papers around in his hands)

Dad: (acting surprised) Oh! Yeah, that’s better, isn’t it?

Both Children: (giggling at him)

Dad: (drawing kids up to where all 3 of them can look at the pictures together) OK, let’s see what we have…

Jane: Dad, see the way I stayed in my lines? Dick never colors inside the lines, but I do.

Dad: Well, actually, I…

Dick: Fine for her! What about the way she uses one color to do the whole picture?! At least I use more colors!

Dad: Well, that’s true, but really I…

Jane: See the way I didn’t use stick people? Dick always uses stick people, but my people have hands!

Dad: And I like that, but you know…

Dick: At least it doesn’t take me all day to make a picture! Jane spent an hour on that picture and I had mine done in just 10 minutes.

Dad: That’s good, but really…

Jane: The making of a fine picture takes time, Mr. “Attack of the Stick People”!

Dick: So what takes so long to make one picture that’s nothing but green, Ms. “I take all day to do one picture”?

Jane: Maybe if you’d actually take some time your picture wouldn’t look like an accident.

Dick: Maybe if you had any talent at all you’d…

(The children continue to argue back and forth, disregarding the father. Finally, he intervenes)

Dad: Kids! Kids! Stop! Stop it! Listen to yourselves! I asked you to make pictures for me, not start a war! You’ve forgotten why you’re even doing them. This isn’t a competition.

Jane: But which one is better? I tried harder than he did!

Dad: I don’t look at these to see which one is better. I’m looking for someone to love me enough to do something nice for me.

Dick: When I was looking at Jane’s picture to see what she was doing, it looked like she had been looking at mine and copied stuff.

Dad: Why are you so concerned about each other’s picture? Who are you making it for?

Both Children: (pausing, then hanging their heads) You.

Dad: So, stop making pictures like you’re trying to beat each other. Just do your best for your dad. That’s what I really want from you. OK?

Both Children: (nodding) OK.

Dad: (getting up) Now, let’s go stick both of these up on the refrigerator where I can enjoy them.

(all 3 exit together)


© Sherm Nichols 2006, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: