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First impressions hand & foot imprints

This activity is wonderful for all ages. You may wish to do this activity at several times during the early years as it leaves behind a wonderful memory for you and your child. Even the smallest of infants can participate. (Caution - with infants ensure there are no allergies to any of the materials used)

Here's what you will need:
1 cup of flour
¼ cup salt
1/3 cup warm water
Food colouring
4 litre ice cream lid

Here's how to make it:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. If dough seems dry, add more water, a little at a time. Make a ball and press it into the lid to make a circle about 1 inch thick. Get the child to make a print in the dough using their foot or hand. Carefully lift the dough out of the lid and bake at 150 degrees for 1 to 2 hours on a cookie sheet. If you wish to hang the imprint after, poke a hole in the form before cooking. Let cool. Decorate and paint.

Here's what you can do while you make it:
With any age child, including a young infant, talk about what is in the mix. Let the children touch, smell and taste (taste may be more appropriate for children who are on solids). As you add in each ingredient talk about what is changing. As the child makes his print talk about what the mixture feels like or smells like.

Here's what you can do once you have made it:
With infants let them feel the shape of the mold and talk about the curves and different textures, lines etc. With older toddlers and preschoolers talk to them about how the size and perhaps even the shape may change. If you made previous molds compare the molds and talk about what has changed. Older preschoolers will be able to talk about how the shape will change over time. If your preschooler is printing have her write the date on the print.

Makes a great gift or special keepsake.

Comfort, Play & Teach™ Message

Comfort: Spending time with your child making the prints makes your child feel loved. Talking about how they have grown and showing your child the joy you feel watching him grow makes your child feel loved and secure.

Play: Once the prints are made you and your toddler and preschooler can use your imaginations to think about how big the hand or foot will be when she grows up.

Teach: Any activity that involves mixing is a great "teach" moment. Talking to your child about the different ingredients, their qualities and what happens when they are put together are just a few of the things you can explore. In addition, you can talk about how your child will grow and the changes. A wonderful extension of this activity is the comparison of your child's print with what animal prints might look like. This may mean a trip to the library or a visit to a website where you can look at different hand and foot prints.

For Ages: Infants and up

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Content Provided By:
Airdrie Family Services

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