Do any of you watch Sprout with your kids? They have a little section called "Do It Together"- DIT. I thought that was a good description for this little handprint wreath project my 2 1/2 year old and I made for a 4th of July decoration.
We started by filling a piece of poster board with handprints, half red and half blue. I thought that I would need to guide his hand to get a clear print but found that he actually did a much better job when I let him "do it by myself". I used a brayer to roll the paint on- much faster than brushing it- and he gave the poster board a high five whenever I pointed to an empty spot. He even started saying "straight up" since I had reminded him not to wiggle his fingers when lifting.
When the paint was dry the next day, I cut out the handprints while my son made "worms" out of play-doh. I arranged the handprints in a circle, just trying to randomly balance the two colors. I thought about somehow mixing footprints from my 3 week old son in there but decided to keep it a special activity with the older child.
After I was happy with the handprint arrangement, I had to figure out how to flip it over. I used masking tape to tape the front of our wreath together, then flipped it over and bent a sturdy piece of wire into the right size circle. I used masking tape again to tape the wire to the back, then removed the tape from the front of the handprint wreath. Later I just squiggled some hot glue over the back and let it dry since the tape started to peel a bit in the heat. I reused some ribbon I had saved to make a bow and a hanger before displaying the wreath on the front door. My little guy was excited to point it out to visitors and tell them that he helped mommy make that. :)
We decided to stick with the handprint theme and decorate a shirt for him to wear on the 4th of July. I saw a cute picture on Pinterest of a handprint in place of the star covered portion of the American flag and painted stripes. What do you do when you get carried away and make 8 red stripes instead of 7? Decide that the design is abstracted anyway and keep adding more stripes. I don't have a picture of my biggest little guy modeling the shirt yet so I'll just add the picture I took as it was drying.
I've been trying to use baby's nap time for some fun toddler artmaking and I'll post some of those ideas in coming weeks!