My 5-year-old has declared he "hates art." Nevertheless, I continue to try and find small, simple ways to encourage moments of artistic expression, being careful not to exert any pressure on him. This handprint tracing art idea may not be totally innovative and mind-blowing, but it works! And it works really, really well. Try it, and see how your child responds!
At the end of this post I've listed a few ideas how kids who LOVE art can take this handprint tracing project to the next level, so be sure to check those out.
Like most good ideas, the handprint tracing idea came out about by accident. I asked the boys to write thank you notes to their mormor (aka grandmother). My 9-year-old sat right down to the task, but his brother protested. On a whim I offered to trace his hands on the paper.
He LOVED this.
Thus relieved of the stress of drawing (he has fine motor delays, which partially account for his reluctance to draw), he colored in the hands with abandon.
A few weeks later, I was working in my art journal and strategically left his journal next to me, open to a blank page. As he watched me I offered to trace his hand. He agreed and after three pages of hand tracing I got up to tend to something else. When I returned I discovered him tracing his own hands.
I was quite delighted, especially when he was so carefully filling in the broken line!
He started coloring one in with a gold pencil and I started telling him about King Midas and the Golden Touch. His response was to choose blue for his next hand to create a "water touch", and red for a "fire touch." I love how the art project sparked his imagination!
All of this lasted about 15 minutes, which is quite a long time in New Kid Art Time!
I realize this art project may not be revolutionary or amazing, but it might just spark a latent interest in your child's creative mind. Plus, once you have done a few hand outlines, you can move on to the full body!
For kids who love art, extend this project with the following ideas: