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Shamrock Handprints

Service Project: Create shamrocks with handprints on them

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cost: $3

Duration: 45 minutes (this includes drying time)

Lesson(s) learned: Brighten the day of those that have been sick

How we did it:

We are rapidly approaching springtime and saying goodbye to winter and it seems like along with that comes the tail-end of the flu season. Yuck! Being sick is the pits. Since they’ve been sick at some point in their lives, all children can have empathy for others that are sick.

This project gives your child an opportunity to brighten the day of someone who needs a little good luck. In our case, it was our extended family and our neighbor that needed a nice surprise to make them smile after being sick for a few weeks.

What you will need:

Green construction paper

Green glitter

Green paint

Green candy

Snack size bags

Paper plate

(Yep, there’s most definitely a green theme happening here!)

First, gather all your supplies for the project. I went to a dollar store and bought a packet of construction paper and green mint candies. I already had the paint and the glitter. Tip: Make sure that the color paint and glitter that you use are not the same exact color as your paper. You want them to stand out.

Addie helped me set up our work area. We covered it in paper towels to protect the counter.

Next we used a template (Save the image at the end of this post) and this is how it came out. Addie’s hand fit perfectly in the shamrock leaves. For larger children, you may need to enlarge the template to fit their hands. As an alternative, you can skip the template and simply have your child’s hands be the shamrock leaves!

Addie practiced the placement of her hand while I got the paint ready.

I used a wide paint brush to coat the paper plate. This keeps it from globbing up (that’s a technical art term that I invented) on Addie’s hands and makes for a nicer hand print.

Addie LOVES smearing her hands in paint. I can’t say I blame her! For little ones, make sure you push their hand down onto the plate so that the paint coats all those little pudgy folds on their hand.

Ohhhh, squishy paint!

Addie made four handprint shamrocks. We set them aside as Addie washed her hands.

The next best thing to painting with our hands? Glitter! Before the paint dries too much have your child sprinkle green glitter on the handprints. Addie is definitely heavy-handed on the glitter! I suspect that she dreams of swimming pools filled with glitter.

While the paint dries, Addie filled little snack bags with green mint candies. These bags will get stapled to the back of the shamrock handprints.

The paint dried quicker than we expected so we didn’t get as much glitter on our handprints as we wanted. Still looks good, though!

Here’s the finished product. We added a cute little St. Patrick’s Day saying and then stapled the bag of mints to the back of the shamrock handprint.

Addie surprised her cousins, Isabella and Anthony, who just got over a bad case of the flu. They loved their shamrock handprints as well as the get-well hugs they received from Addie.

Our neighbor is just getting over being sick so Addie left her surprise for them on the porch.

Who doesn’t like handprints and glitter?! Throw in a shamrock for good luck and you’ve just made someone’s day brighter!

Have fun with your Shamrock Handprints!



-Kelli Plevyak



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