Art Ideas: Thumb Print and Fingerprint Art

With just a little line art embellishment, finger prints and thumb prints can be used to create all kinds of images including mice, fish, butterflies, bees, birds, lady bugs, centipedes, penguins, turtles, frogs, flowers, pumpkins, Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

Lesson Plan Suggestion: Thumb print and fingerprint art projects help preschool and young elementary age children improve developmental skills like hand and eye coordination and also provide a sensory-stimulating experience.

  1. With young children, make sure you cover the work surface with newspaper or some other protective material and have the child wear a painting smock or old t-shirt.
  2. Wash all hands before painting.
  3. Roll fingers or thumbs over an ink pad or alternatively, put some paint on a sponge (it helps to put the sponge on a paper plate).
  4. Make a print by firmly pressing the inked finger or thumb against the paper. Use different fingers to make prints of various sizes.
  5. With very young children, you may need to hold their hands to dab into the paint and press into the paper.
  6. Wash hands and allow the prints to dry for a few minutes. Then draw faces and other details on the prints. Do an Internet image search on “finger print art” for ideas on how to make different shapes, insects and animals.
  7. Write a cute saying on the card like “Thumbody Loves Me.”
  8. VARIATION: To make a “Have a Mice Day” card, make a row of finger prints starting with dabbing the forefinger tip onto an ink pad and make a finger print on the My Art Cards greeting card template.
  9. Do the same with the index finger, printing next to the first finger.
  10. Print again with the little fingertip.
  11. Use markers or paint to make ears and tails. One way to make the ears is to spread a little pink paint on a plate and use the end of a pencil eraser as a stamp to stamp ears at the tops of the fingerprint mice bodies. Let paint dry.
  12. Letter or write “Have a Mice Day” at the top of the card.

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