I absolutely love any activity that incorporates hand or foot prints into them. They not only make cute art work, but they are great legacy building activities. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, it is what child life specialists use to describe activities that families can do that will add to their legacy. It is often used with patients and families in end-of-life care or bereavement for it gives them something to remember an individual or group of individuals by. Legacy building is also done with families who have experienced long stays at the hospital or multiple stays because it is a part of their life and should be recognized as a piece of their history and what has shaped them.
For my first in what will probably be many activities that incorporate these types of prints is the hand print fish, in honor of summer and is also the first hand print activity I had ever done! The print itself is very simple: pick the color you want your fish to be, paint the palm and fingers of your hand, and place your hand (fingers slightly splayed) on the piece of paper. You fingers make the tail of the fish and your thumb is the fish’s fin. Then draw an eye and a mouth on the bottom of the palm using your finger as a brush. And you have your fish!
You can add other sea creatures by painting with your palm and fingers with different colors. Here is my finished example where I made a little underwater paradise for my fish. I used white paint fingerprints to create bubbles and green paint to make seaweed. As an added bonus, I glued googly eyes on the animals, though they fell off of the octopus.
Hand Print Fish Activity Notes
Age Group: All ages
Materials needed: Paper, different colored paint, paint cleaning supplies
To create a memory of the participant
To promote exploration with colors and textures via the paint
To encourage artistic expression as a source of both fun and coping
Exploration of tactile stimuli