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8 Handprint Art Activities for Kids

Erica Loop
April 16, 2015

Handprint art can be so much more than that yearly turkey project your child brings home from school every November.

"Art, in general, is a great way to support children in developing fine motor skills as well as many other abilities they will need to function well in the world -- including visual motor and visual perceptual skills, creative thinking, problem-solving and spatial awareness, to name a few," says occupational therapist Marjie Citron, LMT, OTR/L. "More specifically, art activities are a wonderful way to support the natural development of eye-hand coordination and bilateral hand integration -- use of the two hands in a coordinated fashion."

Like stamping, sculpting with clay and collaging, finger-painting and handprinting support your child's fine motor development. You don't need fancy supplies for this, either.

Michelle McKinley, creator of the blog Crafty Morning, says, "My crafting inspirations come from looking at everyday objects around the house and thinking of all the things it could turn into." From playing with textures to making cute characters, try an activity or two that goes beyond the typical.

Step up your paint print game and try one of these ultra-creative crafts and activities that truly stand out!

  1. Handprint Vampire
    McKinley's cutely creepy vampire handprints are crafting gold! McKinley says, "You don't have to be an artsy person to do these, either. Just grab some paint, scissors and glue! Most of the time I don't know what we're going to make that day until we start playing around with some art supplies."
  2. Bubble Wrap Handprint Art
    In the Playroom's bubble wrap handprint tree is a dramatically different way to print and encourages your child to explore colors and textures!
  3. DIY Puffy Paint Print
    Mix a teaspoon of tempera paint with shaving cream to create your own cloudlike concoction. Watch as your child smooshes and mushes the paint between her fingers as she makes handprints. Add in a pinch of craft sand or glitter for a super-sensory experience.
  4. Corkboard Handprint
    If painting on paper seems everyday, try this handprint art activity from Buggy and Buddy that uses a not-so-typical base.
  5. Oversize Handprint
    "One piece of advice I have, particularly when working with younger children, is to start big," Citron suggests."Hanging paper on a wall or using an upright easel and drawing or painting in a standing position will activate large muscles and also encourage wrist extension, which builds strength and endurance for sustained pencil control later on." Instead of starting small with a letter-size piece of paper, tape a piece of butcher paper to an outdoor wall. Coat your child's hand in paint and let him "walk" his way up the paper, making a trail of prints. Older kids can use the oversize canvas to make a life-size handprint animal or looming letters.
  6. Glue and Glitter
    Who says your child has to make handprint art with paint? Swap out the tempera for a pool of school glue. Help your child coat her palm and fingers with glue, press it onto a piece of paper and sprinkle a layer of the sparkly stuff over the top. Shake it off to reveal a glittering gem.
  7. Bunny Hoop Art
    This handprint bunny hoop art from See Vanessa Craft takes the usual animal print to a new level. Using the hoop gives the craft a grown-up feel, but the painting part is still easy enough for your child.
  8. Picasso Print
    Go cubist-ly crafty with this handprint art activity! Help your child paint his hand in different colors, making each finger (or section) a different hue. Press his hand onto a piece of white construction paper. When the paint dries, cut the hand out. Next, have your child cut the handprint into pieces. He can reassemble it onto another piece of paper, Picasso-style, with school glue or a glue stick.

Getting creative doesn't have to stop at handprints. Keep the art adventure going with these Top 5 Recycled Craft Ideas for your child!

Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy creating kids' activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies.

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