With the Kids

Make Your Own Kissing Hand

Today’s storytime is the perfect book to read to a child who may be a little apprehensive about starting school. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is about a young raccoon who doesn’t want to leave home to go to school. His mother gives him a reassuring kiss in his hand that he’ll always have with him, no matter where he goes. If he gets scared or sad, he can put his hand on his cheek and feel his mom’s love.

As my son is starting Kindergarten this year, he’s ready and running for the door! I’ll be the one needing his kiss on my hand reassuring me he’ll be okay away from home! When I was teaching Kindergarten, it was fun to watch as parents took lots of pictures and gave lots of kisses to their child, lingering longer on the first day of school. Now that I’m a parent, I’m sure I’ll be doing the same thing. I know it’s cliché, but my little boy is “growing up so fast”!

So to celebrate this story and get us both ready for school starting, we made our own Kissing Hands. I traced my son’s hands on paper and he cut them out. Then I put on my lipstick and gave his paper hand a big KISS. We even made his paper fingers give an “I Love You” in sign language.

My daughter even made one as she’s getting ready for preschool. She keeps kissing the lipstick kiss.

Now we’ve put these hands in their backpack pockets and they’ll always know they’re loved.


  1. this is such a cute idea to go with the book. my 3 yo and i just love the kissing hand. after we’ve read the book (usually at least twice) we give each other a kissing hand. i’m not kidding you, you can really feel a warmth in your hand after you get one. it’s a wonderful book and i can’t wait to try this art project tommorrow with my baby! thanks!

  2. When I taught Kindergarten classes at church, we made valentines by tracing our hands, gluing a heart in the palm and then bending the two middle fingers down “I Love You” in sign language.

    The kids loved it, the parents loved it and it was so easy!

  3. I teach K and this is the book I use on the first day! I make hand shaped sugar cookies for snack and bake a Hershey’s Kiss in the palm of the hand. There are so many great ideas for this story.

  4. We love that book. My son is in third grade now, but I remember our “kinder walk” and how excited he was to see his name at his spot at the table. We bought the kissing hand for his kinder and first grade teacher’s class library.

  5. I love that book and feel exactly the same way you do about your soon starting K. I’m going to need a kissing hand for me! sob, sob! What a great idea to do before kindergarten starts. Love your website and love your ideas…keep up the great work!

  6. I love this book too! When my niece was younger we read it to her before she would go off to Florida to spend some time with her dad.

    Even when she visits me now, we kiss each others hands before she leaves.

    What a cute idea for the paper hands in the backpacks. :)

  7. My little guy and I just recently got this book from the library. I was just telling my girlfriend how much I liked this book. This is a very cute book and pulled at my heart strings….=)

  8. Hi Marie!

    Cute idea! Our Kindergarten teachers also read this story and the kids and parents make hand shaped cookies. Our 1st day of Kindergarten is only a 1/2 day and they always read this book.

    I have this book on our bookshelf {at home} and I’m going to try this project for our 1st day of Preschool! I’m also going to read If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Joffe Numeroff! We love the original!

  9. great idea Marie! Hana is excited for K, too! Do you have any ideas for kids who have sudden fears about random stuff?

  10. Yup DD’s Kindergarten oritentation mentioned this book, and they had her cut a big heart, and than I drew my hand in it and a little note!

    Too Cute! WIsh I had known about it when DS went 11 years ago!

  11. Love this idea! My daughter is starting kindergarten in a week and I think this would be a special thing to do even though she is so excited to go.

  12. In our school district the first day of Kindergarten is a half day and they end with an assembly that the parents and children go together. Before they dismissed us they read this book. To this day before my 8 year old goes to school I kiss both hands – it is our special little thing.

  13. very cute idea:) Maybe it will help me from bawling when the day comes that my kids go to school :( I can’t even think about it without getting sad!!!

  14. That is so sweet. My daughter will start nursery school and I feel the same way — I’m the one who will need the kiss. We’ll have to check this book out.

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