Wednesday 20 May 2015

Thumb Printing ~ a Simple Painting Activity...

The kids and I experimented with Thumb Print Art on the weekend. Even though paint is involved, it's a fun, kids' crafting activity, that requires minimal set up and the clean up takes next to no time.

Thumb Printing with Kids... a quick, fun painting activity ~ Threading My Way

  • paper
  • paint - non toxic, washable paint for children
  • paint tray
  • crayons, pencils or non toxic children's textas (markers)

Thumb printing uses so little paint, I didn't even bother with art smocks. You can use a variety of paint colours, but I went for simple, and just put a blob of black paint in the middle of each child's paint tray.

I first of all explained to the kids what we were going to do with our thumb prints - turn a thumb print into a character, animal, person, etc, by drawing around the thumb prints. In my days teaching classes of children at school, I would, of course, have had an example already done to show them. Not this weekend.

  • Dip one thumb into the blob of paint.
  • Remove excess paint.

  • Stamp thumb prints over the page. 
  • Allow the thumb prints time to dry. Go and do something else!!!
I suggested single thumb prints and also showed the basis of a caterpillar, but let the kids stamp as they saw fit.

  • Create pictures by drawing around the dried thumb prints.
The top caterpillar is mine - both the thumb prints and the drawing. Little Mister was happy, as he had a starting point. Being the younger of the two, he wanted something to initially copy.

Once he'd made his own caterpillar, he was off and away and needed no direction for his second picture. The top two thumb prints became ears...

and he drew a robot. 

Little Miss felt we needed the added words and arrows, so I helped with spelling when asked. Making pictures from thumb prints was a new activity for the kids and they enjoyed it. 

They like it when I give minimal instructions - just enough to give them a few ideas. I have to be honest and say that I sometimes have to restrain myself, as I have a tendency to give too much direction.

However, developing their confidence and creativity is far more important than the finished result.
  • Provide the materials
  • Give a few suggestions
  • Let the kids run with it
I'm almost always surprised at what they come up with!!!

What crafting and painting activities do you and the little people in your life enjoy? I'm always on the look out for fun ideas.

Follow Pam ~ Threading My Way's board Crafting With Kids - Games for Kids on Pinterest.

... Pam


  1. Awwwwwwwwwww I bet the kids had a great time - I want to make one of those caterpillars myself, lol!

  2. Enjoying an Ed Emberly book would have been a great lead in to this activity. Lots of inspiration there.

    1. Thanks for introducing me to a new author - always on the lookout. Now to decide which ones to get. In the meantime, his website offers lots of ideas and inspiration for both the kids and me. I'm sure you've seen it, but I'll add the link here for anyone who hasn't...

  3. Lots of fun, and your grandchildren are very creative. I hadn't come across that author in the previous comment either, this could be bad news for my spending! Another 'art' book that we've really enjoyed recently is 'Beautiful OOPS', definitely worth a look.

  4. I love kids' finger print arts! They are so adorable. Thumb prints also makes cute butterflies and bees!

  5. That sounds like you had a lot of fun and reminds me of Olaf from Frozen and the cute sporty fingerprint men that my son and me made earlier this year. :) It's great how your kids made figures up based on their thumb print pattern. Especially love the robot. Best wishes, Jana

  6. What a lot of fun for the kids!

  7. Super easy and cute!
    Kids can really show their creative side here :)
    Hope you will share it with our party:


  8. What a creative way to make kid's art. I love it!

  9. Looks like a fun way to spend the afternoon with the kids!

  10. One of our local primary schools used thumbprint art as a fabulous fundraiser recently - each prep class made a large painting of thumbprints inside the shape of a heart (each child was given a different colour) then there was a grid/menu of their thumbprints with the child's handwritten name at the bottom. They were framed and were then auctioned off at a parent event. They looked great.

  11. Shalamar Hospital's orthopedic specialist is committed to delivering high-quality musculoskeletal care, combining expertise with compassionate service in a modern medical environment.


Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email. If you don't receive an email reply from me, check back here.