Use this autumn craft to capture the colors of fall and a moment in your child’s life. Combine her fingerprints and handprints to create a vibrant fall tree you can display each year, long after your child’s hand no longer fits in the print.
Begin with a piece of heavy white cardstock or construction paper. Arrange tempura or acrylic paints in fall colors, including a shade of brown for the tree truck.
Help your child wash his hands, then dry them completely. Pour a small amount of brown paint in a paper plate. Use a foam brush to paint your child’s palm, fingers and forearm with a generous layer of brown paint.
Gently, help your child position her hand in the top center of the page. Press the hand, fingers and forearm cleanly onto the paper and hold. Then hold the paper with one hand and lift your child’s arm from the paper without smudging the print.
Immediately wash your child’s hand and arm before completing the craft. You now have a brown tree trunk (forearm) with branches (fingers) growing on your page.
Now, provide a plate or craft palette with dollops of paint in fall colors, like red, yellow and orange. Show your child how to paint fingerprint leaves in the branches of the tree. Dip one finger in a fall color and gently press your finger in places around the branches and at the ends of each finger. Alternate colors and fingers so the leaves have a variety of sizes and shapes.
Let your child be creative by adding new colors, “falling leaves,” or other accents. He can make fingerprint animals flowers, or other plants. Use a bristle brush to paint grass blades along the bottom of the page and surrounding the tree truck. Make a bee by printing a yellow fingertip, then drawing stripes with black marker and adding wings and antenna. Butterflies have a pinky fingertip body and four index fingertips slanting out to make the wings.
Allow the handprint tree painting to dry completely before mounting it on a larger piece of cardstock. It is best to frame the piece in a simple, glass frame to protect the picture, but you can also store it covered in plastic and display seasonally. Be sure to let your child sign and date the back for future reference.
Use this craft as an elementary art project, fall party activity or rainy day afternoon with the family.