Many of you likely made the famous “hand” turkeys but did you know handprints can be used to make many other animals, too? As you do this art project, remember the key is in the conversation. You can teach and reinforce color words along with direction words as children make their caribou (or reindeer) masterpieces.
Begin by showing children a picture of a reindeer or caribou. For interested children, you may want to point out that reindeer are smaller caribou. They live with people. For curious children, you can even introduce the word domesticated. You can talk about dogs, cats, or cows as domesticated animals. Ask children to think about animals that are wild animals like squirrels, bears, seals, and caribou! You can show children this drawing of a reindeer:
Tell children they are going to make a reindeer (or caribou) head. Have them clench their fist as shown:
Ask children what color the reindeer’s face could be. This child chose purple:
Paint the part of the hand as shown above. Have the child put his/her hand down on the paper. Emphasize the word, “down. “
Then have children make the antlers. Talk about these structures that appear on caribou and reindeer. Ask children to choose a color and paint the hand:
Emphasize to children to put their hand “above” the head.
Let the paint dry. Then ask children to paint the eyes and nose on the face. See if children can point to the place where these facial features should be before painting.
When finished, have children describe the sequential steps in creating their pictures. See if they use appropriate color words and proper direction vocabulary such as down, on, and above. Also ask children to talk about the differences between caribou and reindeer. The key is the conversation!