For some reason I have really been into painting the children's hands and feet for parent gifts this year. This is actually the first year I've done any of these hands and feet projects. A while back I had seen this idea for making a valentine card and knew I wanted to do this with the children to give to their parents. I won't lie.........it takes a lot of time to do these projects and does take me away from being available to the whole group during work time for a good chunk of time. However, I have found that the children love it and the parents treasure these keepsakes, so I am really glad we've done them.
These would make a great gift for grandparents or they'd just be great to do with your own young children to keep as a memento of when their hands were so very small.
In case you are planning to do this with a group of children, here is how I did it. I had a big bowl of warm soapy water on the table along with some towels. I also had a dish with red tempera paint and a brush. I painted the children's hands one at a time and washed them in the soapy water in between (i.e. I painted their right hand, washed it, then painted their left hand and washed it). If you painted both hands at once it could get pretty messy pretty quickly, I'm just sayin'.
Another tip is to model with your hand how the child should hold their hand, with fingers together and thumb sticking out. This can be challenging for the youngest children. To get a really good "heart" image, you will need to bend the child's thumb down a bit right before pressing their hand to the paper. I got better at this with practice. When the two hands are painted and pressed as shown, the white space in the middle resembles a heart shape. I accentuated this by gluing a little punched out heart in the space. Of course you could omit that if you prefer.
Since these were parent gifts, I also added a 2X4" shipping label printed with the saying, "Children hold our hearts in the palm of their hands." If you would like to download and print this label, please click the link below. It is a document set to print a page of 10 adhesive shipping labels. If you don't want to print them as labels, you could copy and save the image, print it on a piece of cardstock and print your child's hands directly to that paper.
Below you can see a finished page. The pages were actually oriented horizontally and had a name sticker with the child's name in the bottom right corner. For privacy purposes, I cropped that out in the photo below.