My almost-2-year-old (gasp!) toddler has been all about his colors lately, naming them on various objects as we go about our day. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought, what better way to foster his interest in colors than making a rainbow! We made this colorful handprint rainbow art over the weekend, and it was a great way to celebrate this Irish holiday with my son. C’s rainbow art is currently hanging on our fridge at toddler eye level, and he tells me each color in order every time we’re in the kitchen. :)
I love handprint art, and this activity was no exception. If you’re looking for a St. Patrick’s Day craft to do with your little one, this handprint rainbow art is a fun way to learn about colors and a beautiful keepsake to hold on to when it’s all said and done.
- white card stock
- construction paper
- finger paints
- glue stick
- cotton balls (optional)
- gold tape (optional)
- aluminum foil (optional)
C is still too young for scissors, so I started by cutting out a cloud from white construction paper to place at one end of the rainbow and a pot from black construction paper to place at the other end. The cotton balls, aluminum foil and gold tape are optional, but I used them to add different textures and increase the sensory experience. These items really made for a fun mixed-media art project!
For the handprints, I used a round synthetic artist sponge that I already had to evenly apply the finger paint directly onto my son’s hand. The consistency of finger paint is thick, so the sponge application is worth doing to prevent huge globs of paint. Then I helped him press his hand down onto the white card stock. Make sure to use paint that’s safe for children (nontoxic, washable)—here’s a popular finger paint kit from Crayola, or you can even make your own. Finger paint cleans right off with a baby wipe so it’s easy to switch colors.
This was also an opportunity for color mixing, as I only have the four colors pictured above. I had to mix the red and yellow to make orange and the red and blue to make purple—C thought it was pretty neat!
For the cloud, I glued the cutout underneath the red handprint and then covered the top of it with glue. I helped my son tear apart two cotton balls and then he flattened them a bit onto the cloud cutout. If you don’t have cotton balls, the white cloud cutout is sufficient.
For the pot of gold, C stuck two precut strips of gold tape to a piece of aluminum foil for me to cut out into coin shapes. We crinkled the foil up a bit after that, and I cut out circles for the coins. I didn’t glue them flat so that they would have some texture for him to feel. Alternatively, you could just cut out coins from yellow construction paper, or you could make thumbprint coins using yellow paint.
Very easy, and the added sensory elements seem to be a hit! My son likes to pat the fluffy cotton ball clouds and run his fingers across the raised, grainy texture of the glitter tape coins. I hope you enjoy this colorful project! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with kids?