We had so much fun today at the Manchester-Essex Memorial School playgroup, Music, Books & More, making Hand Print Lions! Now, this may look like just a fun, little craft, but it is so much more - this is Brain Building In Progress! Children explored STEM concepts by tracing and identifying a circle to make the head, they challenged their point of view and spatial awareness by turning their own hand print upside down to create the lion body, they practiced fine-motor skills by cutting the circle out and cutting fringe for the mane, and this was tied into literacy and body-awareness skills when we read the book Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and as we discussed our hands, other parts of our bodies, and laughed and talked about our lives in relationship to each page of the book.
Scroll down for directions!
What you need: Paper plates, yellow paint, yellow paper, black magic markers, glue, googley eyes, child safe scissors.
1. Trace a circle on a piece of yellow construction paper.
2. Cut out the circle
3. Chip into the circle to make a lion mane. Be sure to rough it up to make it look like fur!
4. Decorate the lion face with magic marker and googley eyes. Always have googely eyes on hand - best craft supply ever.
5. Squirt a glob of yellow finger paint or washable paint on a paper plate. Squish it around, draw letters in the paint, make a mess, and finally lay your hand flat in the paint to make a hand print on a blank piece of paper.
6. Make a hand print.
7. Turn the paper upside down. Whoa. Different point-of-view.
8. Glue the head on top of where the pinky finger is painted.
The children in our group each told a story about the lion. One lion was getting ready to race a cheetah. Who won? The lion. Another lion was hanging out with a bee. Another saw an elephant. So many creative stories.
Before this craft we read Here Are My Hands.
And, we practiced identifying sizes and matching our own hands against the opening pages of the book Hands Can, by Cheryl Willis Hudson and photographs by John-Francis Bourke. We talked about how sometimes we may not read a whole book, but just look inside for a specific piece of information, in this case the hand prints. Even the littlest baby got in on the fun and the children laughed that her foot was as small as the biggest hand. ,
Most importantly, we had fun. Parents, grand-parents, children and baby siblings. Laughing, learning and coming together on a beautiful fall morning. See you next week!
Lisa Cheney, CFCE Coordinator, Hamilton-Wenham RSD.