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Smoochie Hands for When We’re Apart – Craft for Kids with Separation Anxiety

Shrinky Dink hands from the Kissing Hand book to help kids with separation anxiety when they have to be away from mom or dad. Simple and easy idea and craft to help children deal with anxieties.

Remember the Kissing Hand Necklace that Allie posted on No Time for Flashcards earlier this year?

Her idea was to create something that she and her young son could wear when she was away from home, especially on a trip for several days and nights.

I loved the idea. I loved the necklaces.

I have such a hard time leaving Grace. I have a hard time leaving her at preschool every day, and I have a harder time leaving her overnight. A blogging conference requiring air fare and several nights away from home leaves us both a wreck.

Because Grace has spent time in person with Allie's son, I showed her the pictures of Allie and her son making their Kissing Hands necklaces. She thought it was a great idea and dubbed them Smoochie Hands.

Shrinky Dink hands from the Kissing Hand book to help kids with separation anxiety when they have to be away from mom or dad. Simple and easy idea and craft to help children deal with anxieties.

How to Make Shrinky Dink Hands

I followed Allie's Kissing Hand Necklace instructions with just a couple of changes. (Click over to her site for a fully illustrated set of instructions.)

Materials – White paper, Shrinky Dinks, Sharpie markers, scissors, and a baking sheet

  1. I was shocked at the price of Shrinky Dinks, and I didn't want to waste a sheet if my tracing didn't come out how I wanted it to. I traced Grace's hand and my hand onto a piece of plain white paper, making sure they are both the same hand and facing the same direction.
  2. Once I got our hands the way I wanted them, I traced my own hand onto a sheet of Shrinky Dinks using a hot pink Sharpie. I traced Grace's hand inside my own, using the same marker.
    Kissing Hand Craft
  3. I repeated the step above with a purple marker for the hand Grace would color.
  4. Grace and I both colored our hands as we pleased. The one she made for me was more scribbly, and I colored mine in full, bold color.
  5. I wrote on the hands using a silver Sharpie marker. Mine said,  “Of all the kids in the whole world, I got the best one. I love you! I'll see you soon!”  I asked Grace what she wanted to write on hers, hoping for something sweet and meaningful.
    She picked the Barney song. You know, “I love you, you love me, we're a happy family. With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me, too.”
  6. I cut out along the line for my hand and baked the Shrinky Dinks according to the package instructions.
    I panicked when they curled up, thinking they were getting ruined, and I broke one. We had to start over.
    They will curl up, but then they will flatten out again. Don't worry.

I should've punched holes in the hands before baking them, but I forgot. This way, Grace and I have to carry them, rather than wearing the hands as necklaces. I keep mine in my wallet whenever I'm away from home.

Also, the words look much better from the back. I wish there was an easy way to write the message backwards so that it would be easy to read from the back side.

Our Smoochie Hands

Grace kept the one that I colored (it's the pink and purple one above), and I kept the one that Grace colored (the mostly white one).

When I'm away, especially at bed time, we talk on the phone, Grace kisses her Smoochie Hand, and I send her kisses through mine. It's like we're holding hands even though we're far apart, and it's a ritual that we both treasure.

The Kissing Hand Book


This activity, of course, is based on the book, The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. In the book, the little raccoon is afraid to go to school and be away from his momma. Like many of our kids, he just wants to stay home with her. She smartly kisses his little hand and tells him that he can think of her kiss in his hand anytime he needs her. This is a wonderful book that has calmed a whole generation of kids since it was published in 1993.

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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14 thoughts on “Smoochie Hands for When We’re Apart – Craft for Kids with Separation Anxiety”

  1. I could have used this when I went to Hilton Head a couple weeks ago! My poor daughter has been telling me ever since I got back, “Mommy! I don’t want you to go on a trip!” Way to twist the knife, child o’ mine. 🙂

  2. I was so impressed with your smoochie hands when I saw them in Philly. I think they’re a great idea. Get this–we were talking about shrinkie dinks yesterday and my husband had never heard of them, much less made any when he was a kid! Sad, isn’t it??

  3. So sweet! I love the story and the idea. I can’t stand being away from my kiddos and this is a great solution. Thank you s much for sharing this sweet story!

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