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Hand prints

The making of hand (or foot) prints some people consider to be one of the pleasures of early childhood. In this delightfully messy play the child learns to transfer the shape of his hand to the paper. This may be the precursor to more sophisticated printing techniques later on! It is certainly good for recognising parts of the body - which can be a real problem for some children.

You Need

  • Protective covering for child and near environment!
  • Finger paint - on a tray or suitable wipe down surface.
  • Large sheets of paper.


Get stuck into some really messy play.

Now what?

All those lovely hand prints can be used in many ways, Here are just a few.
  1. Use single ones to decorate a card or make a lollystick puppet as illustrated.
  2. Use a sheet full as wrapping paper or cut them out and use them to fill in a shape, like the two trees illustrated. Or draw a large fish outline and pace the hand shapes sideways inside it to represent the fish scales.

Finger Paint

This can be bought ready-made at many toyshops. If you want to make your own, here are some suggestions:
  • Flour and water paste with powder paint added.
  • About one cup of soapflakes (NOT DETERGENT), powder paint, a little water. Mix everything together until it is like thick cream. (I am told this mixture can be used to paint on the sides of the bath. I have not personally tried it!)
  • This recipe is not so good for hand prints but it makes a fascinating substance for messy play. Push it into a pinnacle and it will subside into a pancake. Push against one edge and it will bulge out somewhere else - like an amoeba. You need about a cup full of cornflour. (Keep a little back in case you make the mixture too sloppy.) Possibly some powder paint, but in its white state it is still fascinating. A LITTLE water to mix the cornflour into a smooth paste.
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Hand prints

Hand prints

Hand prints