Let the children make a colorful valentine hand print craft using their hands and fingers.
Oh, how I love using kiddos’ hands and fingers to create art! Probably because the children love it so.
With my preschoolers, I like creating some kind of hand print art with the kids each month. This artwork gets saved and added to their end of the year portfolios.
For February, the kids and I tried our hand at a fun valentine hand print craft tree. We ended up calling it our “falling hearts tree”.
Are you following Fun-A-Day’s Valentine’s Day Pinterest board?
Related: Falling Hearts Glitter Jar
Making Hand Print Trees in Preschool and Kindergarten
I tend to make hand print hearts for February, but I decided to try something a little different.
In the past, my students and I have made a variety of hand print trees – one for the fall, a negative space fall tree, and a winter one. Those trees gave me the inspiration to come up with a heart tree for February!
Wait, aren’t hand print crafts bad?
I’ve heard from some early childhood educators who’ve said they don’t care for hand print art like this. I love hearing from other teachers, and it’s always great to have a discussion around differing viewpoints.
The disagreements I’ve encountered center on the fact that hand print art isn’t true process art. To be clear, I am a big proponent of process art in preschool and kindergarten (and beyond!). In fact, it’s always the bulk of the free art and art projects in my classrooms. Process art is definitely important for children, no question there.
However, I also think balance is important in early childhood classrooms. So sometimes we make special gifts for the children’s families. Sometimes we use hand prints and fingerprints to create art around a theme.
While those projects have a predetermined outcome, I still make sure the kids get free reign in how they create. I also make sure they’re involved in decision making during the projects – like choosing paint colors, determining what we want to make, etc.
Where do you stand on this issue?
Making a Valentine Hand Print Craft Tree
For the tree trunk and branches, I helped each child paint his hand and forearm with brown tempera paint. Then I helped the kids press their hands and arms onto a piece of white construction paper.
As the brown paint dried, I got the other paints ready. The children and I decided that red, pink, and purple would be great colors for the hearts.
We had a quick discussion about adding white to colors to soften them and make the colors lighter.
Next up, it was time to add fingerprint hearts. Here, I walked the line of letting the children add the heart prints themselves and helping them.
Some children wanted to do it independently, while others got annoyed when the hearts didn’t turn out as they’d envisioned. So I helped when they wanted me to, and stayed back if they didn’t want help.
It was fun to see which children wanted hearts all over the tree and its branches, and which children wanted the hearts in very specific spots.
One of my little girls made her own, very precise, heart hand print tree and then decided I needed help. I think it turned out even better with her help!
Preschool Lesson Plans for Valentine’s Day
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (both whole group and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
Looking for another valentine hand print craft? Check out what some of my blogging buds have come up with:
Owl Always Love You Handprint Art | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Baby Bum Print Valentines | House of Burke
I Love Ewe Sheep Handprint Art | Sugar Aunts