Have you ever gazed at your child and wondered to yourself, “How did he get so big?” or, “Did she grow in her sleep last night?”
Colin had just come home from preschool and was excitedly sharing what he had learned that day from his teachers. As he yapped on and on, it became one of those moments where his voice and all other sounds sort of faded into the background. As I smiled and nodded in his direction, I was really noticing:
His face: It had slimmed down. He didn’t have a baby face anymore, and there were no traces of cookie or peanut butter sandwich on his cheeks.
His eyes: A chocolaty brown, layered with a firm knowledge of his world from the past five years, yet, still full of question, wonder, and trust.
His arms: Was his shirt really two inches short? How did that happen?
His hands: HIS HANDS! They are so big now! Where did my baby go?
All of a sudden, I felt the frantic need to preserve my rapidly changing five-year old.
Handprint art to the rescue!
- Mini canvases
- Red, blue, and green acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Glossy Mod Podge
1. April showers bring May flowers is a popular poem that many children memorize from a young age, and for good reason! The poem can be thought of as a deeper lesson in patience, as sometimes we have to get through the tough times (April showers) to enjoy the good stuff that will follow (May flowers). As I painted my children’s hands with bright red acrylic paint, we discussed the poem:
- How do April showers bring May flowers? Why do the flowers need the showers?
- Is it hard to wait for the spring flowers to come?
- Can you think of another time that you had to wait for something? Was it worth the wait?
- When it is hard to wait, think of the poem April showers bring May flowers. It will help you remember that good things are worth waiting for!
2. After you’ve helped your child leave his/her handprint, invite him/her to paint a stem and a leaf under the handprint to create a flower.
3. Using a single fingertip dipped in blue paint, show your child how to create the April showers around their flower. Colin and Owen exercised their creative license and created puddles at the bottom of their canvas!
4. When your child’s masterpiece is completely dry, paint a thin coat of glossy Mod Podge over the entire canvas to preserve it. When the artwork is dry, display it prominently to demonstrate to your child that his/her artwork is special to you!
When April is over, store the handprint art in a dry location so that you can display it again next spring, and every other spring for the next 50-years (or more!).