lemonade learning Hands
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Baker's Clay Handprint Ornament

My son "invented" this when he was 8 months old & wanted to play too!
His opportune hand-slap into the middle of a pile of baker's clay became an ornament we have treasured for years.

Materials:
baker's clay (click here for recipe)
acrylic paint
optional: acrylic varnish or shellac
paint brush
toothpick (to make a hanging hole)
string, fine ribbon or yarn for hanging

Make the dough as indicated the form into flattened balls a little larger than the hand/foot to print. If your child likes to make a fist and grab things rather than pat with an open hand, a footprint might work better, or try and make a game of patting (not grabbing) the dough. "Pat-a-cake", "gimme 5" or "bongo drummer" can work sometimes.
Once you have a decent print, make a suitable hole for hanging (make it larger than you want to to end up as it will close somewhat as it is baked). Bake the dough as directed and let it cool.
Paint as desired, being sure to use contrasting shades to highlight the print against the background. Let dry, then varnish or shellac if desired.
Note: the ornament will keep much longer if all the surface has been sealed with paint and/or varnish.

Plaster Hand / Foot Print

Materials:
plaster of Paris (available at a hardware store)
plastic mixing bowl (a washed out yogurt or cottage cheese container works well)
craft stick or similar for mixing
a mould, such as a styrofoam tray, pie plate, etc.
a paperclip (for hanging)
masking tape (about 1" or 2-3 cm is enough)
water
clid-safe had moisturizer (olive oil will work)
optional: acrylic paints & brushes for decorating

Place the paperclip in the container where you wish the hanger to end up. Use the masking tape to tape the top half of the clip to the container. Bend the bottom up slightly, so that when the plaster is poured, it will encase the bottom of the clip.
Prepare the plaster mix according to the directions, aiming for a texture that is thick but still pourable. Pour it into the container and coat the child's hand or foot in oil or other moisturizer. By now the plaster should be hard enough to accept a print. Have the child gently press their hand or foot into the plaster and remove but pullling it straight up again.
Let it set completely (overnight is best), then remove from the container (remembering to peel away the masking taped part of the paperclip). Any rough edges can be easily sanded, but do this away from any children and wear a protective face mask. Have the child paint, shellac or varnish as desired (or do it yourself if the child is still an infant). It is most effective if contrasing colours are used for the print and the background.

Handprint Wreath

Materials:
various colours of construction paper (for a Fall wreath) or green (for A Christmas wreath)
a piece of paper board (aka cereal box) slightly larger than the child's hand
a pencil
scissors
glue (school glue, white glue etc.)
a bow (either paper or fabric)

Trace the child's hand onto the paperboard and cut it out. Have the child trace from the paperboard onto the construction paper. Older kids may be able to cut out their own, and even stack 2-3 sheets of construction paper at a time (paper clips or bulldog clips can be used to help hold them together). Younger kids may need extra help. You will need about 10-12 cut-outs to make a wreath. Arrange the prints in a ring, finger-sid outwards with the wrists overlappin slightly. Glue them together in place and let dry. Glue on the bow.

Hand-Print Coupon Book

Materials:
construction paper
writing /copy paper
pencil
scissors
stapler
pencil crayons, markers etc. to decorate the cover

Fold a sheet of construction paper in half. Place the child's hand such that the wrist is at the fold and trace their hand. Cut it out leaving the folded side intact. This is the cover of the coupon book.
For the coupons, you can hand write them or use a computer & print them up. You can trace & cut them out in the hand shape, or into simpler shapes so that they are more manageable for the child. Place them inside he cover, so that the edges are tight to the fold, then staple the booklet together.
Alternative method: Cut out one handprint and glue it to the front of a "regular" (rectangular) booklet.
Ideas for the coupons should come from the kids, but could include: I will tidy up the shoes by the door; I will wash dishes when it isn't my turn; I will dust the living room; etc. Decorate the cover as desired.

Handprints on Fabric

Materials:
cotton fabric item
acrylic craft paint
acrylic fabric medium
tray etc. to hold the paint

Wash the fabric item to remove any residue and do not use any sort of fabric softener. Combine the paint and fabric medium as directed on the bottle and spread on the tray. Print hand and/or footprints onto the fabric as desired.
Variation: Use tempera paint instead of acrylic. Iron the painted areas of the shirt once the paint is dry to set it before washing.
**You will need to do a test swatch to be certain that the paint will not wash out--some newer brands/formulas are more washable than in the past.

Handprint Mural

Materials:
suiable surface--roll paper (such as newspaper roll-ends, butcher paper, etc.) or a wall for a permanent mural
paint suitable for the surface (tempera for paper, acrylic for a wall)
a pencil
optionsl: a paintbrush if you want to label the prints
a tray or similar for each colour of paint to be used

First, plan out the spacing of the handprints. Use the pencil to lightly indicate the child's initials where each handprint will go. If you intend to label the handprints, make a copy of the layout on a smaller piece of paper to keep for reference.
Have each child, one at a time, add their handprint in the indicated spot on the work surface, then wash their hands when finished. Once the paint is dry, if desired, write the child's name on or under their handprint.