By this point in the year, when our afternoons with our kids during their time off from school are either warm and a little bit lazy thanks to the hot weather outside or restless and a little bit antsy thanks to the occasional heat induced thunderstorm, having a whole arsenal of not only craft ideas but new and exciting crafting techniques up our sleeve is probably the smartest thing we could do. At any give moment, our kids might decides that they feel like getting crafty and we love being prepared to pull out everything they need to make something they’ve never tried before, keeping them happy and busy for hours on the rare occasions throughout the season that they’re not out running around in the fresh air. Right now, they’re at an age where all they really want to do is get their hands a little dirty and create things that are fun and messy with their fingers. That’s why we’ve been keeping newspapers to lay down like tarps and collecting as many finger painting and hand printing crafts and projects as we can possibly scrounge up, just to make sure we have lots of ideas until they go back to classes in the fall!
Just in case your kids love getting as messy and colourful while they craft as ours do, if not more, here are 15 of the best hand print crafts, painting ideas and tutorials that we’ve come across in our search so far.
1. Handprint monkey painting
Our kids went to the zoo recently and it was the first time they’d ever seen live monkeys. They could have stood and watched those monkeys playing on their jungle gym and teasing zoo patrons for hours! It came as no surprise to us, then, that those monkeys were all our kids talked about for days afterwards, so you can imagine how pleased we were when we came across this cute little hand print monkey painting idea featured on Fun Handprint Art.
2. Handprint penguins
Do you love the idea of making cute little animals with your kids’ hand prints but you’d actually rather help them make winter animals, just to take their minds off how hot it really is outside where you are right now? Maybe you’d actually just prefer to craft with hand prints in a way that doesn’t involve sticking your kids’ entire palms in paint and then trying to get them washed before they go touching their clothes or each other’s faces. In either case, we think you might prefer the way The Best Ideas for Kids made these adorable little hand print penguins from traced and cut out paper, with a snowy scene created from pom poms and felt!
3. Handprint dragonfly
Just because you’re making hand print crafts doesn’t mean that you have to create a flat, 2D scene like a drawing or a painting. In fact, the idea of using your kids’ hand prints as a base shape is practically limitless! We just knew we absolutely had to save this cute dragonfly idea with hand print wings when we saw it because, when they’re not tracing their hands or sticking them in paint, their favourite way to get creative is usually to glue popsicle sticks to each other or other things. Get the full details for this craft on Raising Little Superheroes.
4. Handprint bunnies
What if the part of making hand print crafts that your kids like the best is seeing how the lines on their hands and the shapes of their fingers make a very precise shape on the paper, depending on how they position their hand? Then we have a feeling they’ll get just as much a kick out of these funny paint printed bunny rabbits from Crafty Morning as ours did. Besides the fun of adding the features and the pink parts of the ears, our kids were very intrigued indeed to see how they could make a different shape than just a splayed, five-fingered hand if we didn’t paint their thumb before they laid it on the paper.
5. Dr Seuss inspired Thing 1, Thing 2 painting
Have your kids always been pretty big fans of making crafts themed after their favourite books? Perhaps you’re actually just looking for a project idea that will let them use their hands and fingers in more than one print or stroke. In either case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Fun Family Crafts made this funny little Dr. Seuss themed painting inspired by the book characters Thing 1 and Thing 2. Let your kids paint as many “Things” are there are in your family, like funny little cartoon self portraits but with blue hair!
6. Handprint and cereal octopus
If you’re going to go to the trouble of getting the paints out and letting your kids get their hands dirty, are you of the mind that you might as well go all out and make it a super fun, super messy, multi-faceted craft? Well, if you’re going to be half way there anyways, then we can’t help but agree! Check out how I Heart Arts n’ Crafts created an awesome underwater scene featuring bubble wrap painted ocean bubbles, cut and paste seaweed, hand printed octopi, and glued cereal tentacle suckers.
7. Handprint spring chicks
We’ve already got you hand print craft animals from just about every other season, so why not make it a full year of little critters, just to keep things well rounded? It might not be spring at this particular moment, but that doesn’t mean your kids won’t have a blast using their painted palms to create adorable spring chickens like the ones you’ll find in this simple tutorial featured on Craft Get Ideas.
8. Handprint wreath
Perhaps you’ve actually already collected several ideas for each season but you’re lacking on fall time concepts, so you’re looking for crafting tutorials that will suit your home specifically come September? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Twenty Five Things created these awesome hand tracing wreaths that have been cut out in all different autumn shades of paper! Of course, you could make this same craft in any colour and it would suit the rest of the year as well, but we like the way this original version looks a little bit like it’s made of fallen leaves.
9. X-ray letter painting
When our kids were first learning the alphabet, we found that one of the best ways to help them remember the sounds that each letter makes was to do a different craft or creative thing each day that was themed after the letter and sound combination. That way, they could remember a particular thing that started with the letter, helping them think of the sound when they see it. It Happens in A Blink finds that technique helpful too, which is how they came up with this cute x-tray craft that involves painting white “bones” onto a black handprint so it really does look like the x-ray you’re associating the letter X with for memory.
10. Leprechaun handprint painting
If you’re going to start collecting seasonal hand print craft ideas, do you figure you might as well throw in a few that suit the holidays all throughout the year as well, just so you’re prepared when that particular time of year rolls around? Then we’d definitely suggest stocking this adorable hand print leprechaun idea featured on Crafty Morning away for next St Patrick’s Day! we love the way the fingers give him some long orange hair (and our kids loved seeing how painting different parts of their hands different colours translated on to the page).
11. Lion handprint craft
Just because you’re painting with hand prints doesn’t mean you have to stick to simple construction paper when it comes to the materials you’re working with. Just in case you’re the kind of parent who proudly hangs all their kids’ artwork around the house and you’d like something a little more permanent than paper, here’s how The Chirping Moms helped their little ones making cheerful looking hand print lions with cut and paste manes on a canvas background instead!
12. Flying bat handprint craft
Moving from St Patrick’s day onto Halloween, here’s another tracing craft with a unique shape that will definitely hold your kids’ attention! Kids Craft Room shows you how to trace around their hands held together at the heel with their fingers splayed out to each side in order to create the wings. We helped our little ones with the first few, showing them how the tracing part is done, and then let them take over and help each other for hours while we made dinner. The whole place was crawling with cute paper bats by the end of the evening!
13. Handprint superheroes
What if your kids are just a little bit older, falling right into that age category where they still want to get messy and do fun things like craft but they’re not little kids anymore and have developed more specific interests than just animals in general? Well, if they’re big fans of comic books or super hero movies, then Crafty Morning has just the tutorial for them! Check out how they turned their painted palms into embellished hand print versions of Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, and the Ninja Turtles.
14. Owl painting with handprint wings
As much as your kids do love creating paintings by printing their brightly coloured palms right onto the page, do you also know that they happen to love painting with a brush and adding details to things? Then we have a feeling they’ll get along very well indeed with an idea like this one from A Night Owl where the hand prints are only a supporting element of the picture and everything else, like the owl’s face and the branch he’s standing on, is painting regularly. It’s the best of both worlds, really!
15. Hand and footprint dinosaurs
If you’re going to go all out and start letting your kids stick their entire hands into paint and print them on stuff, are you kind of wondering whether it might not be too much hassle to let them take the idea to the next level and stick their feet right into the colours and onto the page too? Our kids were actually so incredibly excited about the whole idea when we followed this funny hand and foot print dinosaur tutorial featured on Lemons and Laughs that they were extra well behaved in hopes that they’d get to do it again sometime. We’re pleased to report that we didn’t have to scrub a single dried hand print off the wall or foot print off the kitchen floor!
Have you tried other fantastic and super fun handprint crafts with your kids that you had a blast making together but that you don’t see on our list? Tell us all about what you made or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!