Ryan and I don’t really do gifts for each other (experiences, not things and all), but I still like to commemorate birthdays and other occasions. One of my favorite ways to do this is to make hand-print or foot-print art with the girls. It’s a fun way to see just how much they’ve grown. I admittedly haven’t done this as much with Maggie because unlike Lily, she won’t sleep through me pressing her hands into salt dough or an ink pad. We made a pretty successful tree for my mom’s birthday last month, so we’re giving hand-print Valentine’s Day crafts a go. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite ideas (hand-prints and beyond!), and tips for semi-successful final products.
Tips for Doing Hand/foot-print Art with Kids under 4
- Use ink pads instead of paint. This cuts down on the mess a ton, and you get a much cleaner hand-print.
- Have a wet washcloth or small towel ready. Like right next to you so you don’t have to take a step away from your paint covered baby.
- If possible, strip the kid down to their diaper or underwear so they can go directly into the tub afterwards. This is a great plan for babies, who are much harder to just wipe paint off of.
- If you’re using paint, have your project set up and know exactly where you are going to put it to dry. Have paper and paints in reach that they can use immediately after they do their hand prints. Kids get really excited about painting so being able to show them “this is where we’re doing our special project” and “this is your paint to play with” is helpful.
- Have zero expectations. If you think you’re going to end up with a Pinterest-worthy picture, you might be disappointed. It’s best to recognize that your baby/toddler/preschooler is much more interested in covering his body in every paint color than sitting still while you paint his hand and press it to paper.
- If it ends up absolutely terrible, you can always let it dry and then cut it into little pieces and make a collage. This works great as part of a card.
Hand-print Art Ideas
- Thumbprint Love Bug Card: This would be a quick, last-minute card that you could put together without much of a mess.
- Hand-print Flamingo: I’m in the process of making this for Ryan right now. Instead of using canvas, I’m just using regular card-stock and washable paint.
- This cute card:
- One I think the grandparents would appreciate:
- Just came across this and I’m definitely tackling it this weekend!
What will you be making for Valentine’s Day?