Painting can be a wonderfully creative and sensory experience for kids. This Handprint Rainbow Painting idea lets children get really “hands-on” with paints and explore colour mixing and blending.
Handprint Rainbow Painting is a super fun and colourful art experience you and the kids can enjoy all year round. It goes particular well with St Patrick’s Day celebrations, weather study themes and Spring and Summer topics too.
Do you love rainbow crafts as much as we do? Who can resist, they are so darn pretty! Before you get busy with this handprint rainbow painting tutorial don’t forget to share some other rainbow posts to your Pinterest or Facebook to come back to later too. You can never have too many rainbows!
Our trending rainbow crafts are Edible Bread Painting (Your kids will want to do this every day!) Rainbow Blowers (Super fun for little kids.) and Rainbow Tambourines ( A great way to inspire music and movement.)
Handprint Rainbow Painting Tutorial
Process or Product? – Handprint Rainbow Painting
Handprint rainbow painting can create beautiful rainbow arc pictures like the ones above but this kind of “finished” piece should be just one possible part of the painting experience.
It’s super important that we let the kids really experience and explore the paints on their hands and how they behave on the paper. Process is more important than product!
Letting children really experiment will result in rainbows of all shapes and sizes and colour combinations. If your kids love the smearing process you may end up with a completely brown painting!
Artistic and sensory exploration is so important for kids and we should strive to put any desires we have for a “finished” piece to one side, instead valuing what the children create themselves and what and when they see it as finished.
How To Set Up Rainbow Painting With Handprints
Supplies For Handprint Painting Rainbows
I like to use acrylic paints for most kids art because the colours tend to be stronger and the coverage tends to be better than water colours.(Do watch clothes though because it doesn’t wash out!)
Chatting to kids about the colours they can expect to find in a rainbow is a great introduction to this art experience. If you get the opportunity do look at some real rainbows outside or at photographs and drawings in books too.
Rather than using a palette with a section for individual paint colours I like to offer a little squeeze of each colour on an open plate. I use a plate because it makes it easier for children to blend and mix colours if they want to and only uses a small amount of each colour at a time so it’s easy to top up if all the colours get mixed.
To make your rainbow handprint paintings it’s nice to offer kids a range of brush sizes too.
We used our dominant right hand to paint the rainbow colours onto our left hand. It can be fun for kids to paint your hand too.
To extend their fine motor development you can challenge your children to try to paint their dominant hand too. This can be lots of fun and very wibbly wobbly!
If you’ve looked at and chatted about the shape of a rainbow your children might like to position their handprints into a classic arc.
They could also experiment with different rainbow shapes and using both hands…or what about feet too? You could have lots of fun trying to walk a rainbow painting!
Rainbow Painting Variation For St Patrick’s Day
If this handprint rainbow painting is part of your St Patrick’s Day celebrations you might like to use finger and thumbprints to create the gold at the end of the rainbow too! (see the photograph below.)
I hope you have lots of fun experimenting and exploring this handprint rainbow painting idea with your kids.
More Fun St Patrick’s Day Crafts To Try: