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Animal Hand Print Activity for Toddlers

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/2/2012

Have fun and get a little messy with your toddler by making animal hand prints with non-toxic paint. It's best to spread newspapers on the floor for this activity as it can get rather messy.

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    Toddlers love to make a mess with their hands and if it's a colorful mess all the more better. This kids hand prints activity is concerned with making colorful animal hand prints using non-toxic paints or safe home-made paints.

    Materials

    • Non-toxic paints or safe homemade paints
    • Drawing sheets
    • Water
    • Rags
    • Posters and picture cards showing a variety of animals, birds and insects.
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    Directions

    Use or make safe, non-toxic paint to use for the toddlers hand prints activity. See 'Finger Paint Fun: Easy Recipes to Make Your Own Finger Paint'.

    Show the toddlers posters and picture cards of various animals, birds and insects. Encourage the toddlers to talk about their favorite animals. Talk about what the animals look like, what they do, how they move, the sounds they make, where they live, what they eat and so on.

    Show the toddlers how to make different animal prints with the hands.

    • You could, for instance, make a peacock's fanned tail with an entire wide finger palm, make its body with knuckles and head with the first digit of the forefinger.
    • Make a zebra prints by drawing black lines with a finger tip.
    • Make leopard prints by holding fingertips close together and stamping color with them on to the paper.
    • Make a Dalmatian by printing different size spots with different fingertips.
    • Make the body of a bird by printing with the side of the palm and using fingers to print the tail.
    • Make a many-legged octopus by painting fingers and palm, excluding the thumb, with colors and pressing on paper, then moving the palm to overlap the print with another one. Use your fingertips to make the octopus legs squiggly.
    • Make a butterfly by printing palms and fingers with different colors and printing with both palms placed close together and facing away from each other.
    • Use your thumb to make little green frogs.

    After giving the toddlers a basic idea about things, let them have an imaginative go themselves.

    Use different colors and try to make different color textures using finger tips, knuckles, fists, spread palms, close palms and palm sides.

    Remember to wash hands and wipe them clean after each kids hand prints activities, so that the colors don't muddy up. It is also important to make sure the toddlers wash their hands and nails clean after they have finished with the activity.

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    Activities

    Make up a story about the animals in the hand prints. Talk about the friends they might have, the games they might play, the lovely food they might eat and so on. Encourage the toddlers to add their own embellishments.

    Make a greeting card using animal hand prints.

    Scan the kids hand prints, print them out on transfer paper and transfer the designs on to T-shirts.

    What Else to Do

    Read a story about animals. A good one is 'Horton Hears A Who!' by Dr. Seuss.

    Look at Australian Aboriginal Art.