Helping Hands Wreath

Age: Preschool and up
Time: An hour or more
Type of activity: Arts and Crafts

This project is a great way to help your child understand that she can have a positive effect on others -- and on the world.

Materials needed:
· Heavy cardboard
· Construction paper (various colors)
· Pencil
· Scissors
· Glue
· Markers
· Glitter, ribbons, and other decorative materials
· Large- and medium-sized bowls or pots (to trace your wreath)
· Yarn or string

What to do:

Step One: Trace the circle for your wreath by drawing around the large pot or bowl on the cardboard.

Step Two: Cut out the circle. Then, using the smaller pot, trace another circle inside the one you just made.

Step Three: Carefully cut around the smaller circle you just drew. Now you have the pattern for your wreath.

Step Four: Color or paint a background on the wreath.

Step Five: Using the scissors, poke a small hole in the top of the wreath.

Step Six: Thread several inches of the string or yarn through the hole, tie the ends in a knot, and slide the string so the knot is hidden behind the wreath. This is the "hanger."

Step Seven: Trace your child's hand on a sheet of construction paper and carefully cut along the lines you drew.

Step Eight: Repeat this step, alternating paper colors, until you have traced enough hands to cover the wreath.

Step Nine: Talk with your child about the different ways she can help others, and what helping and friendship mean to her.

Step Ten: Help her write the qualities she identified on each hand. She could also color a picture. For example, if being helpful means picking up litter, she can draw a picture of herself putting trash into a can.

Step Eleven: When she has filled each hand with words and pictures expressing the ways she can be a good friend and help others, think about how to arrange the hands on the wreath so they slightly overlap but the writing and artwork remain visible.

Step Twelve: Now you'll begin to glue the hands on the wreath. Put a few drops of glue on the back of a hand and press it into place on the wreath. Repeat this step for each helping hand you've made (make sure one hand covers the hole at the top).

Remember, glue the hands so they overlap, but make sure that the writing and artwork can still be seen.

Step Thirteen: Let the glue dry. Now add any final decorative touches you'd like, such as ribbons, bows, or glitter.

Step Fourteen: Let the wreath dry and hang it as a reminder of the importance of friendship and kindness.

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