This simple art project is also a fun sensory activity that uses taste-safe, homemade finger paints (made with sugar, cornstarch, water, and food coloring) to decorate children’s handprint cut-outs.
Start by encouraging children to paint pieces of cardstock in different colors. Once these are dry, trace and cut out each child’s handprints. Older children will be able to use scissors to practice fine motor skills as they cut out their own handprints, while younger children will likely need help with this step. Once the handprints are complete, encourage children to share people or things in their lives that they are thankful for, such as their favorite food, playing with a special toy, or dancing to a fun song. Older children will be able to write or draw these on their handprints, while younger children might need teacher assistance.
Then, hang the handprints on a string of yarn in your classroom or child care center. You and the children can make the banner look extra special by adding pom-poms, ribbons, and other festive decorations.
Family Photo Gratitude Collages
This activity from Primrose Schools uses canvases, paint, and mod-podge to create collages of the special people in our lives.
To prepare, encourage parents and family members to send in photos of their family members, or have children draw pictures of the special people in their lives. All families look different, so encourage children to include anyone who they consider family members. These might include parents, siblings, grandparents, pets, close friends, neighbors, or even friends from school.
Set up the canvases with paints and any images that children might want to include in their collages. These can include photos, drawings, glitter, paints, and other decorative embellishments that you might have on hand (such as buttons, pieces of tissue paper, feathers, and more). Encourage children to paint and glue all of the items onto their canvases, and invite conversations about feeling thankful for the people in their photos and drawings. Once they are done, help children seal their canvases with mod-podge and let them dry.
Mod-Podge Gratitude Rocks