I have hands!

I have hands!

Making handprints isn’t a new idea for most of us in early childhood education but it is and has always been a wonderful way for young children to develop their sense of self…

I have hands!

I asked the children to show me their hands and they quickly raised their hands into the sky!

I have hands!

We discovered that our hands are important. They help us to eat, play, count, and do all the things we really love to do…

I have hands!

To explore our hands more closely, the children went to work making their own handprints.  The temptation with making painted handprints for many teachers is for the teacher to apply the paint and then press the child’s hands down on the paper. Perhaps this is to avoid a mess or to make sure the handprint looks just right but let me encourage you to “hand” the process over to the children…

I have hands!

As the children explored the process of making handprints, they took their time painting each finger…

I have hands!

Then the children moved on to painting the palm of their hands…

I have hands!

And some (but not all) of the children then went on to paint the backs of their hands and even part of their arms…

I have hands!

And along the way, the children did make handprints on their paper…

I have hands!

It may seem like a lot to clean up afterwards, but the decision of letting the children paint their own hands leads to greater interest in the process and a chance for them to explore the feel of paint in a way that they feel most comfortable with. Even some children (if not most) who prefer not to get their hands messy will give this a try because they have control…

I have hands!

Often times, if we give young children control over their own experiences, they will be more likely to step outside of their comfort zone and explore the experience. So hand over the control and let the children explore the process of making their own hands and they will find the process so much more engaging and you can use the time to ask them how it feels, what colors they like, what part of their hand they are painting and then lend a hand of your own to wash up when the children are all done…

I have hands!

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2 Comments

  • Emily Green-Cain Posted October 20, 2014 12:51 pm

    This would go great with “I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” by Karen Beaumont!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted October 20, 2014 5:29 pm

    Yes it would!

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