While most of my activities and art projects throughout the school year are thematic and very learning based, the week of the holidays is a time where I let loose and go handprint and footprint ca-razy!
Santa handprint – Check.
Fingerprint wreath – Check.
Handprint Christmas tree – Been there, done that.
Handprint ornament – Ooh, yeah.
Reindeer handprint AND footprint – BOOM.
Ok, ok, we do talk about making nice things for their families, because it’s a way to show them your love and appreciation, and it makes the recipient feel special. But after that: pure, unadulterated craftapalooza!
Let’s be honest, how adorable is this guy? I have used this project in the past to make placemats or decorations, but personally I love to give this as a card. Ideas for families: send this as a last minute Christmas card instead of store bought, attach to RAOKs, or write a note to Santa to leave with his Christmas milk and cookies.
This is a project that I made in preschool for my parents in 1988, so I can carried this on in my classroom. I get a white ceramic tile (they are about $0.10/each at the hardware store) and have my children dip their fingertips in green paint and form a fingerprint circle. After this is dry, I dip their thumbs in red paint to make the holly berries. Once the paint is completely dry, I give it a good spray with sealant (not near the kiddos, of course) to preserve the tile.
This is a cute keepsake, though it is too heavy to be hung as an ornament. However, glue some felt to the back to make a coaster. Make more throughout the year and use it as a tile in your kitchen backsplash. Have more than one child? Superglue or grout them together to make a Christmas trivet. (My parents still have mine, but I wasn’t able to take a photo of it in time for this blog post, and I haven’t done this project with my class yet.
First, we mix yellow and blue paint to make green. Then I let my kids go nuts and paint their own hands. They place them into a triangle formation to create a Christmas tree. After it is dry, it is a canvas to decorate using any materials you have on hand (markers, glitter, puff balls, fabric paint, felt, yarn, stickers, sequins, foil, etc).
Another simple keepsake to cherish (and it makes a great gift for family members!)
All you will need to make about 3 ornaments:
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- Water to moisten
-Parchment paper or foil
- Food coloring, glitter, paint (all optional)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Gradually stir in water (about a ½ cup, but just enough to make into dough without being too soggy). I also learned the hard way that if you want to add food coloring (and glitter), you should probably add it to the water. I added mine after, and I ended up giving myself an unexpected arm work out by kneading the dough for 15 minutes.
- Place parchment paper or foil onto a cookie sheet. Roll a ball (about the size of a baseball) and smoosh it lightly. Have your child emboss their handprint into the ball. Use a drinking straw or a pencil to make a hole for a ribbon.
- Bake in a 150*F oven for about an hour (or let dry over night)
- Once it is completely dry, your child can paint on the ornament for a little extra panache.
Not a hand or footprint art project, but I love this activity because it shows how your child’s fine motor skills develop over the years. This activity works on the children’s listening skills, as well as their fine motor skills. I ask them to make straight lines on their paper using a green marker to represent a Christmas tree. Next, I ask them to make circles using different colors to represent the ornaments.
First, paint your child’s foot in light brown paint and stamp onto a piece of paper. When the footprint is dry, paint your child’s hands with dark brown paint to create the antlers. I have the children use their thumbprints to make a red or black nose, and their fingers to make eyes. (You can always use puff balls and googly eyes at home – these are not allowed in my school due to being a choking hazard. As always, feel free to embellish in any way you want to, this is your, er, your child’s keepsake).