Hand-Over-Hand / Hand-Under-Hand Copy

This strategy can be used to support a participant in hands-on activity, but should be used sparingly by a facilitator, as it requires close contact and physically moving the participant’s hands for them. It is a great strategy to model for the friend or family member, where this intimacy is more comfortable.

Essentially, this strategy allows the participant to use materials – to draw or paint, for example, with assistance.


Hand-over-Hand is when the participant holds a pencil or brush, and the partner gently places their hand over top and moves the participant’s hand around, effectively guiding or leading the mark making. It is a collaborative action that results in some kind of artwork or activity. Hand-over-Hand is often used as a way to demonstrate something, or to get the participant started, shifting to the participant working on their own when they are ready. To be effective, the participant must be able to hold the tool, and be willing to be helped.


Hand-under-hand is when the partner holds the tool, and the participant’s hand is on top, leading the movement. This strategy is effective for participants who may have difficulties holding tools, but are still interested to take action. They are more in charge of what happens in this version.