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Handprint Poem Craft For the First Day Of School

The first day of school is magical.  Everyone is so excited and a little nervous. (Even the teachers) 

This special day deserves a special project. Use this hand poem for your first class craft.  

Handprint Poem To Help Parents

I wrote this poem a few years back.  I wanted to create and send home a special keepsake for parents.  


Being the parent of a kindergarten student can be rough.  It is the beginning of letting go of the little lovelies in our life.  Kindergarten reminds us that life changes fast and that children grow-up way too fast.  


This little poem was designed to address some of those worries and anxieties for parents by letting them know that their child’s changing life is a good thing and they can feel at ease.  


Select the type of frame you like… The downloadable link is further down the post. 

hand print pic3
hand print pic4
hand print pic7
hand print pic8

Tempera Paint and Dish Soap- Pro Tip

Here’s a little tip when using Tempera paint and little people.  If you put about 1-2 tablespoons in a quart of tempera paint and shake it up, it make clean up a lot easier.  The soap does tend to make the paint a little thin but it is definitely easier to clean up and I’ve also found it makes the paint a bit shinner and less cracky when it dries.

tempera paint clean

Ready For Paint

After you’ve copied all the poems you need it is time to place some hand prints at the top of the poem.  

Squirt a little bit of dish soap laced tempera paint in a small dish.  

Now DO NOT let these little angels paint and place their own hand.  NOOOOOOO!!! You will regret it.

You have to be in control of this one.  Call them over one at a time. The first step and a very important step is to put their name on the back of the paper.  Don’t do this step after because… well…. you can’t.

Paint Their Hand

Second, lightly paint their little hand and place it on the printed poem page.   

Straight down, press, and straight up.  

I literally hold their wrist with one hand and place my hand on top of theirs. Then hold the paper and lift their hand straight up.  It can be tricky and some of those little sugars are going to want to do it themselves… (ugg). 

Wash-Up Advice

Last, I walk them over to the sink and wash their hand.  Yep….. found out the hard way that I cannot have them wash their own hand.  Let’s just say that the paint found it’s way everywhere except for down the sink drain.

(Hummmmmm… then we wonder why teachers are control freaks…People, we have to be control freaks if we are going to keep our sanity.)  

Get Some Help With This Project

Now this can be a tricky project to do alone.  One option is to get some help. You can do this project in about 30 minutes with 20, 5 year olds if you have some help.  I always recruited a grandma and grandpa to come to class the first 3 days of kindergarten. They help out with so many things from tying shoes to walking at the end of the line to making sure everyone made it to lunch.  

Another option is to get an administrator or instructional coach.  If you talk to them real nice and stress the importance of them getting to know the kids and for the kids to get to know them they will be game.  

So for your freebie today you are getting the poem with all it’s different frames.  Here you go. I hope you love it.

Here's Your Handprint Poem Freebie

Spice It Up

If you want to get really crazy you can frame these with dollar store frames or laminate them and then place a magnet on the back so that it can go on a refrigerator.  

Parents Will Love This Keepsake

I have had parents tell me that they cried when they got this little keepsake.  I think it’s a very powerful thing for a teacher to let a parent know that their emotions are recognized and that the teacher recognizes the struggle in a parent’s heart.  It is a great way to build relationships with parents which is probably one of the most important things you as a teacher should do the first few days of school.


Comment below on how you are feeling about the first day of school.  (sad, scared, anxious, excited, worried, etc)

If you didn't catch the last freebie with all the printables for the welcome back packet check it out here. 

Now, go be your amazing self.

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Angie K

Angie K

I love to help teachers create an amazing teacher life.
I've taught for 25+ years and I want to help you find joy and energy in each day.

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