As moms, we are suckers for our kids hand prints. At least I am. Any craft that involves a hand print or foot print is a winner (and a keeper) in my book. So it should be no surprise that I plan to make ornaments for my tree using my kids hands.
My first plan is to have my kids trace their hands onto brown construction paper. Have them if they are able to, cut their hands out. Once they are cut out, turn the hands upside down. You now have reindeer hands! Using paint, puffs, googly eyes, or any other crafting materials that you have on hand make those hands look more like reindeer! The thumb is the head, and the other fingers act as the legs. Paint on black hooves, a red nose, and a tail. Don’t forget the red nose too, for Rudolph! My kids tried to make antlers by cutting them out of black construction paper, but that wasn’t too successful. I think I would suggest using something like pipe cleaners instead!
If you want to be a touch more fancy, make your hands out of cinnamon dough. This stuff is the easiest thing in the world to make, and it smells wonderful! It is very hands on, and absolutely kid friendly. You will need one cup of applesauce (I prefer unsweetened to keep stickiness at bay but it is not necessary) and one and a half cup of cinnamon.
Mix the applesauce and the cinnamon together. It takes quite some time, and a bit of muscle to get the two to come together perfectly. This is the part I let my kids tackle. They love digging in with their hands and squishing the two together until it forms a dough. If your dough feels too wet, add more cinnamon. Conversely if it is too dry, add more applesauce. The idea texture is just like a sugar cookie dough.
When you get the mixture together all the way sprinkle a handful of cinnamon on your counter and rolling pin then roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.
I then had my kids each put their hands on the dough, and I used a butter knife to cut out the shape. Once you have them cut out put them on a cookie sheet. Use a straw, or skewer to place a hole in the hands so you can hang them on your tree. Place them into your oven on it’s lowest setting for about 1-2 hours. You are going to dry out all the moisture from the apple sauce and be left with a rock hard shape.
After your hour is up, allow the ornaments to cool in the oven. I usually let them set for an entire twenty four hours before doing anything with them, just to be on the safe side.
I have not had the greatest luck with painting these ornaments, but you can glue on accessories if you so desire. Personally, I think I might just leave them the way they are. The best part about these ornaments is that your house smells heavenly!