A Grand-HAND in Time by Nikki Clemens A grandparent’s guide to fun and easy hand-printing activities No matter how big or how small, no matter how youthful or how aged, hands are as unique as the people they belong to. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a newborn baby’s hands for the first time—ten fingers all perfectly formed and ready to take hold of life. Hands are an extension of human nature itself, whether it is a pair of little hands playing pat-a-cake, a high-five on the ball field, a mom waving to her child on the school bus or grandma’s hands planting flowers in the garden. We use our hands to work, play, communicate and express… handshakes, hugs, pats and high-fives!
Handprints are the perfect way to preserve a moment, celebrate a milestone or create a unique gift. A child’s handprint is the iconic image of both youth and joy, and a “stamp” in time that remains even as a child grows. In honor of the adoring ten fingers upon your hands, here are ten fun and easy handprint activities to share with your grandchild: 1. Holiday Hands You have undoubtedly seen or helped create the iconic Thanksgiving Day turkey hand, either drawn or painted with each finger serving as a brightly colored feather.
It’s time to think beyond the turkey! There are dozens of ideas for every holiday imaginable. A little paper and a little washable paint can lead to a lot of smiles! Here are a few ideas to last the whole year through!
2. Handprint Placemat What better way to serve up your grandchild’s favorite food than on a personalized placemat? Take an oversized piece of construction paper and let your grandchild’s imagination run wild! Help him/her stamp the page with handprints, add photographs and hand-drawn pictures. Once the masterpiece is created, visit your local business supply store or copy center to have the placemat laminated for a keepsake that will last far longer than the food on your grandchild’s plate!
3. Keepsake Ornament to Celebrate the Newest Family Member
The Grandparent Gift Co. is proud to offer this keepsake Christmas ornament to celebrate baby’s first holiday season. Complete baby handprint ornament kit features 3.5×5 antique gold frame, gold stamp pad, green grosgrain ribbon, instructions, plus unforgettable keepsake poem written on the back.
4. Have a Hand in History Hand-printing projects aren’t just for the grandkids! Create a timeless treasure for your children and grandchildren to cherish. Purchase a canvas at a local craft store, dip your hands in some paint and create a masterpiece! Use special quotes, dates, and memories to personalize your one-of-a-kind canvas. Some ideas to accompany your hands (or your and grandpa’s hands side-by-side): “These hands will never let you go” “My hands may age with time, but my love for you lives on forever” “Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” Lamentations 3:41 “We joined hands 40 years ago, and never let go” (grandpa and grandma) “Four hands, two hearts, one love”(grandpa and grandma) You can also use handprints of you and a grandchild (grandchildren) side-by-side: “Who takes the child by the hand takes the grandmother (nana, nonna, etc) by the heart!” “You may hold my hand for but a short while, but you will always hold my heart.” “You hold my heart in the palm of your hand.” “Best grandkids, hands down!”
5. Bake Thumbprint Cookies Although cookies may not last as long as artwork, thumbprint cookies are a great way to personalize your baking experience with your grandchild!
RECIPE FOR THUMBPRINT COOKIES: Ingredients:
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated and reserved
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups finely chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup jam
Preparation: Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar. Add egg yolks (reserving egg whites for later) and extract. Mix out 1 cup of flour and add salt to it. Gradually add to butter mixture. Add other cup of flour gradually. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight. Also make sure reserved egg whites are covered and refrigerated, too. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Set counter for the rolling process by setting out low-sided bowl with lightly beaten and reserved egg whites and another low-sided bowl for the nuts. Roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls. Then roll each ball into egg white and then nuts. Place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Press thumb into each cookie before baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Move to wire racks for cooling. Press centers again with thumb. When cookies are almost cool, fill centers with jam or icing.
6. A Gift for Grandpa!
The Grandparent Gift Co. makes gift-giving easy! This 5 x 7 double tabletop frame has a space for your grandchild’s handprint and the perfect photo with grandpa! Now available personalized! Whether Papa, Pops or Grandpa, he will smile and give his grandchild a high five every time he sees this unique gift.
7. Grandma’s Wall of Fame Single handprints displayed in frames in a family room or study can be a timeless tradition at grandma’s house! Pick a time each year, albeit your grandchild’s birthday, Christmas, first day of school, etc. and build a wall of handprints! Be sure they are dated so you can see how much your grandchildren have grown! If you have a basement or garage wall that needs some grandparent loving, let your grandchildren take over with handprints and messages to you.
8. Create a Stepping Stone
Stepping stones are a great way to add love to your garden or patio. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a mosaic stepping stone like the one pictured above: Purchase mosaic tiles in desired colors from a craft store and purchase concrete mix like “Quikrete”, a just-add-water powdered mixture, from a hardware store. 1. Follow the concrete mixture directions and stir in a bucket until it has the consistency of cake batter. 2. Slowly pour the mixture into a platter bottom or pie tin. Shake the mold to remove all air bubbles and let the concrete sit for approximately one hour. 3. Help your grandchild press his/her hand into the cement mixture. Have a wet cloth nearby to remove excess cement. 4. Let your grandchild place the mosaic tiles in the desired position, pressing slightly to secure. 5. Once your grandchild is happy with the design, let the stone cure for a couple of days before removing the mold. 6. Enjoy your grandchild’s stepping stone for years to come.
9. A Family Tree
Invite the entire family to get involved in the hand-printing fun by creating a family tree! To create this timeless treasure, there are endless possibilities —construction paper cut-out hands, painted hands on canvas, quotes, dates, family names, birthdates…Make your family tree as genuine and unique as your family itself.
10. Crafty Cut-Outs What a fun and unique way to show off hands, no matter how big or how small! Visit your local craft store and have your grandchild pick out his or her favorite pattern on paper or fabric. Next, trace and cut out hand shapes Put your fabric handprints on a blanket, quilt, apron, tree shirt or t-shirts.Put your paper cut outs in a frame, scrapbook or photo album for lasting keepsakes.