Canvas Gratitude Banner Service Project

We’ve spent all week celebrating “Not Back to School” with our local homeschool co-op.  The days have been full of everything from hiking as a family to vision board creation to a trip to our tiny zoo and much more. We adore this community of like-minded families and the friendships we’ve built.  I love the chance to glean from more experienced homeschool Mamas and the opportunity to share what’s worked for us with those who are newer to the homeschool life than we are.

If you’re a homeschooler I highly recommend joining a co-op, not only for educational opportunities but also for the support and encouragement only someone who’s been in the home education trenches can offer.

I was in charge of a service project as part of our week full of activities.  I wanted something that would be simple and meaningful and that would work well for the wide age range of our co-op; we have every age from toddlers to late teenagers.

We made banners for our local firefighters and police officers. It was an easy project to pull together and resulted in a beautiful finished product.


Paper Plates


Lay out the banners on a plastic tablecloth, with the other supplies nearby.
Give each child a paper plate and squirt a quarter-size amount of paint, in their color choice, on the plate.  Have them use the foam brushes to spread the paint across their whole hand and then put a hand print on the canvas banner.
Continue this process until every child has placed hand prints on each banner.
Keep baby wipes nearby.  They are excellent for cleaning up acrylic paint.
After the paint was dry, we added short notes of gratitude in sharpie markers. We then divided up the completed banners and individual families dropped them off at fire stations and police departments.
My 6 year old son was thrilled to drop off our banner at the police department.  The clerk asked us to wait for a few minutes so we could give it to a uniformed officer and that detail made the project so much more fun.  Ethan shook his hand and the officer was genuinely grateful and gracious.  


The banners had deep creases when they arrived. Do not make the same mistake I did and spray the banners with water and toss them in the dryer to remove the wrinkles in an effort to avoid ironing them.  This resulted in much more wrinkles and slightly shrunk the banners.  Just stick with ironing.
Have moms or other responsible helpers at the ready. This project could have gotten out of hand really quickly if I didn’t have a bunch of helpers.