Hand print and finger print crafts always make wonderful keepsakes. Here’s a fun way to celebrate the coming of Autumn while preserving your child’s size and age at the same time.
• White construction paper or card stock
• Orange construction paper
• Acrylic or poster paint in green, brown, orange, yellow, tan and red
• White craft glue
1. Line work surface with newspaper and place white construction paper in the center.
2. Start by showing the child where you want to place his/her arm on the paper, you will be painting the bottom of the forearm, palm and all fingers.
3. Use brown paint to cover bottom of forearm, palm and all fingers, use a generous amount.
4. Help child carefully lay their arm and fingers down on the paper, fingers extended. Hand should go in the center of the paper to allow room for the leaves. Gently press down and roll each finger, palm and arm onto the paper. Lift arm straight up into the air.
5. Wash paint off arm and hand and dry completely.
6. Place a nickel sized amount of each color paint into a paper plate. Have child dip their finger into the paint and onto the paper creating leaves of all different colors. The fingers on the paper are the branches, so put the leaves at the end of the branches and all around them.
7. Use a paint brush to add some grass at the bottom of the tree.
8. For older kids, add a few flowers in the grass. Use a small dot of paint on their finger to create the center and flower petals. You can even add a little squirrel in the tree by dotting on a head, body and tail! Use a black marker to dot on the eye. You can also add a few “falling leaves” by dotting two or three colors falling from the branches and use a marker to add a few squiggly lines indicating motion.
9. Make a frame from the orange construction paper by gluing around the back edge of the picture.
• This project has fun variations for Spring as well. Make all the leaves green using two or more shades, then add red dots for apples or white and pink dots for flowers. Use a construction paper color for the frame to match the season.
• It’s best to show children a finished project first so that they understand what they are trying to create. This will make it easier to envision their own picture.
• Be sure to have a bowl of water and some paper towels handy for cleaning off fingers.