Sanity Savers: Birthday Edition – Henna Hands

By: Amelia Schrader
Senior Manager of Learning and Education

Download a printable version of this Sanity Saver here!


Construction Paper
Brown or Black Marker or Crayon
Henna Design Inspiration


Activity Time: 5-10 minutes  

Academic Subject:

Social Studies Cultures Art  

Happy belated birthday, Explore & More! As we celebrate our first anniversary at Canalside and our 26th birthday as a children’s museum we are also reflecting on how people celebrate milestones around the world! In many cultures, Henna or Mehndi is used to celebrate births, weddings, holidays and other important milestones. This intricate art from varies by region. In India designs are usually resemble paisley patterns while Arabic henna usually comprises of vines or large floral patterns. African henna is different still with bold, more geometric designs.   


Step 1: Trace each of your hands on the piece of construction paper.  
Step 2: Draw henna inspired designs on each of your hands.  What culture are you going to represent in your design? Geometric like African henna? Floral like Arabic henna? Or paisley like Indian henna? Regardless of what designs inspire you this beautiful art form is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday!  

Vocabulary Words

Henna (Mehndi) – a temporary body art that results from the staining of the skin using natural dyes from a mignonette tree.  

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here! 

Field trips are back! Please be aware that it will be busier than usual.