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Making Hand Prints

Sweet Pea is 26 months old.


From: At my sister-in-law’s suggestion, we made hand prints for a Father’s Day gift and Sweet Pea has been crazed about making  “Han- Pits” ever since.


  • A large stack of card stock or construction paper. (We went through about 5 times the amount of paper I thought we would.)
  • Washable (child-safe) ink pad and/or washable paint poured onto a large plate.


  • A damp towel or sponge for clean up.

Procedure: (Steps 2-7 are only necessary if you actually want a nice looking set of your child’s hand prints for posterity).



  1. Make sure that you have the ink or paint, paper and damp towel within arms reach.
  2. Practice with your toddler without the ink or paint first.   Tell them and show them how you are going to ink or dip their hand in paint.  Show them how to spread their fingers apart.  Next practice putting their hand (with spread apart fingers) on the paper in the location you want.  Practice having them lift their hand vertically off of the paper without sliding it sideways.
  3. Use one hand at a time.  First ink or dip your tot’s right hand in paint and then place it on the paper.  Press down gently on their hand and then lift it it straight back up.
  4. Repeat a bazillion times on new sheets of paper until you get several nice right  hand prints.
  5. Use the damp towel to wipe off your tot’s right hand, then take them to a sink to finish cleaning up before trying to make a left hand print.
  6. Use the paper that has some clear righthand prints on it and repeat the process with the left hand to get a paper with both hand prints on it.
  7. After you have a few nice sets of hand prints, set them on a high shelf to dry.
  8. Let your tot make hand prints however they want on the remaining paper.
  9. Clean up.


Observations: Sweet Pea loved this a whole lot more than I did.  It took a lot of effort to get a good hand print with the paint.  After I had gotten a few that were reasonable, I just let her play on her own.  I think she could of made hand prints until we ran out of all paper in the house if I would have let her.


It was really hard for Sweet Pea to hold her fingers apart.  She also had trouble pressing down on the paper without sliding her hand around in the paint.  She had so much fun with the paint, but I got much better results for the actual hand prints when we switched to an ink pad.



Notes from the Trenches: Do you ever think, “Oh, this will be a quick little craft to do?”  And then 2 hours later you think that perhaps getting this started 15 minutes before bedtime was a huge mistake?  This was one of those crafts.

Obviously this is a mess.


Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent – if you don’t care about final product)

5 comments to Making Hand Prints

  • First of all, I just love your blog and all the inspiration you provide. I have a 24 month old daughter and have totally loved “digging” in to your blog and trying new activities. In fact, in this week’s Tot School post, I linked you from my blog. 🙂

    Also, I love the idea of using a stamp pad! Maddie loves stamping, and I’m sure she’d love to make handprints with the ink pad.

    Thanks so much!

  • My son loves making handprints too. He calls them paw-prints after reading a Spot book by Eric Hill. You gave a great tutorial on how to go about doing it. Thank you!

  • The whole description of a quick activity made me LOL. I have some additions to your suggested flow – take your child outside and strip him/her to underwear/diaper. Use hose liberally when done.

    By the way, I gave you an award on my blog –

  • admin

    Natalie I like your hose idea a lot! I think that would have worked. I ended up just throwing Sweet Pea in the shower immediately afterward.

    And thank you for thinking of my website for an award. 🙂

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