The Kissing Hand - An Activity

One of my all-time favorite first day of school activities is to make a Kissing Hand.  You know the book, right?  It's about a little raccoon who is nervous about school so his mom gives him a kissing hand (a kiss in the palm of his hand) so that he'll always feel her near him.  Then, at the end, the little raccoon gives his mom a kissing hand so that she won't miss him.  Sweet, huh?

So, after reading the book, we talk about how we might miss our parents, but guess what, they miss us right back.  So, we'll make a kissing hand for them and that way they know we are always thinking of them.  It's really sweet and perfect for starting kindergarten. 
First, everyone traces one hand.  I cut some multicultural construction paper in half for their little hands.  Using multicultural paper allows us to talk about how everyone's skin is a different shade and that makes us each unique.  Plus, it's really fun to find a shade that matches your skin tone.

I was pleased to see that pretty much everyone was able to trace a hand this year.  I only had to help a few and there were no tears!

Next, cut out the hand.  This is where you can also observe scissor skills on the first day.  Sometimes the fingers look like a big blob or are little points, but it just adds to the cuteness of the gift.  I was once again surprised by the motor skills - they all turned out great!
The next step is to cut out and glue down kisses.  I Googled "lip print" in images and found one I liked then made a bunch of copies.  The kids decide how many kisses to put on their hand and how to decorate them.  Who am I to tell them what a kissing hand should look like?!
One of the best parts of doing this on the first day of school is that I can immediately get a sense of their personality and creativity.  While some kids just did a hand and one kiss, most really went all out and made their hands into little mini-me's. 
 Several kids asked to make more kissing hands for both parents or other family members.
I think it's going to be a good year!

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