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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Make handprint celebration cards

Make a personalised card for someone you care about using your handprints or thumbprints

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You’ll need

  • Scrap card
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Paint pots
  • Something to cover the tables
  • Hand washing facilities
  • Items to decorate the cards, such as pipe cleaners, pom poms, wool and googly eyes

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 

Planning and setting up this activity

  • Put out enough tables and chairs for everyone to use, cover the tables to protect them and place the equipment on the tables.
  • If you wanted to, you could create some example cards to show everyone.
  • You could run this activity for lots of events and celebrations, such as Christmas, Eid, Easter, Hannukah, Pride and more.

Running this activity

  1. Explain that everyone’s going to make celebration cards using their handprints or thumbprints. It could be for an event, such as Christmas, Easter or Diwali. You could show them your example or show them some pictures.
  2. Give people paper and pencils and let them sketch out their ideas for their card.
  3. When they’re ready, people can choose a piece of card and fold it in half, or take a pre-made card if you’re using them.
  4. People can start making their card using fingerprints and handprints, made from paint. They can be as creative and inventive as they want.
  5. Remind everyone that you don’t need to use a lot of paint to create the effect and using less paint will mean it will dry quicker and the prints will be clearer. 
  6. When the cards have been painted, put them aside to dry.
  7. After the cards have dried, people can finish decorating and writing in their cards, before putting them in envelopes.

For Christmas, you could use red and white to create Father Christmas, brown for a reindeer or green for a Christmas tree with thumbprint baubles. You could also use thumbprints and create lots of colours to make Christmas lights.

For Easter, you could use yellow for a chick, grey for a rabbit or use thumbprints to create little Easter eggs.

For Diwali, you could use grey to create an elephant, blue to create a peacock or lots, or create a Diyas or lights, using yellow and orange thumbprints for the flames and bright colours on the bottom of the palm for the base.

For Holi, you could use lots of bright colours all over your hand.

For Lohri, you could make a campfire, using brown on the side of the hand to make the logs and using orange, yellow and red handprints for the fire.

For Hanukkah, you could use two handprints together to create a Menorah, with the two thumbs overlapping to create 9 candles – 1 thumb and 8 fingers.


This activity needed you to be independent and make your own decisions on your design and also be caring by thinking of someone special to give the card too. How did it make you feel to create a card for someone you care about?

Can you think of anyone else you’d like to make a card for, maybe with a different design? Had you made these types of cards before?

Are they easy to make or did you have to think lots about which design you were going to do? Did you do a similar design to anyone else in your group?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

If anyone doesn’t want to paint their hands, let them paint directly onto the card instead. Make sure you’ve plenty of adults around to help anyone who may need some assistance to paint their hand.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Now you’ve made individual cards, why not use the techniques you’ve just learned to create a large festive picture for your meeting place, or for your family or a friend? You could even try using your feet, too!