Monday, November 8, 2010

Hand & Fingerprint Tree

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

There are many variations on this craft, so use your imagination and have fun with your kids. In years past I have made a mommy tree and a Gracie tree on very large newsprint. And, until this year I didn't even think to use my child's hand and arm for the trunk and the branches. You could do one tree, or a whole forest--but when you and your little one make the leaves, don't forget a few that have fallen to the ground.

For this craft you will need:
  • Brown paint
  • Red, Orange, Yellow (or your leaf color choices) paint
  • 1 cute hand (and possibly arm)
  • 1-5 adorable finger tips
If you want to save your child's hand print along with the finger print leaves, cover their hands in brown paint. You could paint a bit of their arms with brown as I did, but my toddler didn't get the idea and it smeared. He was used to hand prints, but not the arm. It is just as cute to then paint your own stem.

Clean off the brown from your child's hand. There really is no reason to make them wait until it is dry. They are already having fun in the paint and odds are you aren't going to want to pull this all out again. So, start painting their fingers.

With my young one I tried to just paint his pointer finger. I got better results with one finger. When the process got tedious and he got bored, I painted each finger a different color and kind of "stamped" his fingertips--but you can probably see how those smeared. Pre-K and Kindergarteners should be able to not only make their fingerprints clear, but will also be able to change from color to color.

Experiment with the colors and don't forget to put some at the bottom of the tree. I have my kids do one color at a time because they will eventually get yellow in the orange ad red, etc--but I didn't have this luxuary with Thomas, and I kind of like the blended colors! They are a lot more realistic.

Have fun!!

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