Advancing Children's Health

Looking for our 2017 calendar kids and monthly articles? New ones are posted each month.

Hands-On Fun: Fall Handprint & Thumbprint Crafts

Published by , on Oct 15, 2014

Get the whole family involved in making Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations this year with art projects that encourage hands-on fun for all ages and ability levels! These fall-themed crafts are recommended by specialists from CHoR’s Child Life Department.

Handprint Spider
Materials:  handprint spider


  • White paper

  • Pencil

  • Paint

  • Scissors

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue


Trace your child’s hands with a pencil and have your child fill in the handprints with paint or paint your child’s hands and have child make a handprint of each hand.

Once the paint is dry, cut out the handprints and have your child glue the edges of the palms together then glue googly eyes in the middle of the “spider” creation.

Note: This activity could be enhanced by helping children learn more about spiders and their environment. You can also make multiple “spiders” for decorations around your home!

Turkey Thumbprint Place Card
Materials:turkey place card


  • Card stock paper or blank cards

  • Ink pads

  • Googly eyes

  • Construction paper

  • Markers


Fold paper or card in half with seam facing away from child. Have child make an outer half circle of thumbprints in one color, followed by another half circle of another color, and one last circle of a different color.

Have child place a single thumbprint in the middle of the half-circles for the turkey’s body, then glue on googly eyes and a triangle cut from construction paper for the beak.

Draw the legs and the name of each guest – and you’ve got a cute, easy turkey place card for Thanksgiving!

Tip: You can use a similar thumbprint technique to make colorful flowers and other designs for place cards for other seasonal celebrations. For a daisy, have child make a circle of side-by-side thumbprints with a thumbprint of a different color in the center.

Turkey Handprint Table Runner
Materials:turkey table runner


  • Butcher paper, muslin cloth, or a white or cream blank tablecloth

  • Paint (Use fabric paint if using cloth or a tablecloth)

  • Paintbrush

  • Markers (Use fabric markers if using cloth or a tablecloth)


Cut the paper or cloth to fit your table. Have each child paint their hand(s) whatever color they want and have them gently place their hand(s) on the tablecloth to make one or more handprints. Fill in blank spaces with paint if needed.

Once the paint dries, children can draw on the legs, eyes and beak and sign their name near “their” turkey.

Tip: If you want to keep this table runner for years to come, mark the years the handprints are made and enjoy watching your turkeys “grow.” Handprint butterflies, flowers and spiders, or even a series of a child’s handprints with new ones added each year, can decorate table runners for other seasonal and family celebrations.

Safety Reminder
Always watch young children closely when they are working with paint, glue, scissors and other art supplies. For more safety guidelines for selecting, storing and using art supplies with children, click here.

Categorised in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *