Monday, November 27, 2006

Tip - getting accurate hand tracings of squirmy kids

If you've ever tried to get a toddler to hold still long enough to trace around their hand for a craft project, you know it's like trying to herd cats. Here's a pointer from my friend Sybil, who has plenty of experience overcoming this problem - each year she makes Christmas ornaments in the shape of her (3) kids' hands.

Instead of trying to hold the hand still and trace around it (which gives you sort of a bloated-looking hand, anyway), get the child's hand slightly wet and then make a handprint on dark colored construction paper. The water will leave a mark on the paper, which you can trace around while the child goes off and squirms somewhere else.

We tried this tonight while Liza was taking her bath, and I have a few extra pointers. First, less is more when it comes to the water. If the hand is too wet, it leaves a huge soggy handprint that is hard to trace around and is probably larger than the actual hand, anyway. And have several pieces of paper handy, especially if you're doing it as part of bathtime, because it takes a little practice to get the fingers positioned right before you press the hand down (and you're liable to rip the paper the first time you try to trace around the wet print).

If I have time, later this week I'll post a free pattern for making my version of the handprint Christmas ornaments, which takes considerably less time (and cursing) than Sybil's version. But I'm sure you can come up with your own variation, too. If so, why not post a link so all of us can see it?

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