Feel the paint! Blend the colors! I can do it!
There are several ways to apply the paint, to make the print and to display the finished artwork.
Some children are able to handle a brush and apply paint on the hand by themselves. Most others will need help to brush it on. (Try more than one color on the same hand.)
Dip a sponge in paint and gently dab onto their hand, or let the child pat the sponge until the hand is coated.
Make a stamp pad, placing a damp sponge or thin sheet of packing foam on a tray, or in a pie pan. Spread a spoonful or two of tempera paint under the sponge or foam. The paint will ooze up through the sponge as the child pats to coat the hand.
To make the print, the child will need help to spread out the hand and press firmly. If it is too hard to spread out the hand, first try a fist print or a “walk-a-row” with the pointer finger.
Make random prints all over the paper. For some children it may be more rewarding to paint with both hands. A different color on each hand will add blending possibilities.
Repeat the handprint in a colorful row.
There are endless ways to be creative with the finished prints by adding a few descriptive lines, or by cutting a shape around them.
Attach one colorful print to a headband for stand-up feathers. A whole row of golden hands will make a king's crown. Many colored prints will form a leaf crown or add candles to a child's birthday crown.
Use one print for a side-view wing, or two for a flying bird.
Use two (or four) bright prints for wings, and add a black paper body with feelers. Cut out some for a mobile.
Add fist print leaves and a 1-finger print stem for a flower, or make a garden row of blossoms.
Working upside down, starting with the lower branches, overlap green handprints for a Christmas tree. Random pink and white prints can create a cherry tree.
Two prints will fit in a heart shape.
Combine a row of many prints for a colorful border for the bulletin board.
Handprints to take home will bring joy. Don't forget to add the child's name and date and make an extra one for grandma!