Paint Thumbprint Bugs in a Jar Activity

4.8 based on 12 ratings
Updated on Apr 25, 2016

Squirmy, colorful, icky and cute; create a world of critters with your kid! This is a fantastic project to practice counting body parts, antennae, spots and eyes on all kinds of creepy crawlers. This is a great project to create after a trip to the zoo or while learning about science. This variation on finger painting will be a colorful addition to any wall in your home.

What You Need:

  • 1 sheet of colored construction paper, 11" x 17"
  • 1 sheet of watercolor paper, 11" x 17"
  • Thin paint brush
  • Colored paints, (Tempera, finger paint, or poster color)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
  • Paint Palette
  • Old newspaper for blotting painted fingers
  • Moist rag

What You Do:

  1. Talk to your child about different types of bugs. Look at images in books or on the Internet and talk about the body parts that make up a bug.
  2. Help your child draw a jar on the white paper, include the lid.
  3. Cut the jar shape out of the white paper
  4. Help place a variety of colors on a palette. Lay out black paint separately to be used later.
  5. Have your child dip his fingers into whichever paint color he chooses and blot them on newspaper to find the perfect paint consistency for a good fingerprint without turning into a blob.
  6. Have him stamp his fingerprint inside the jar to make a bug. It's a good idea to clean off painted fingers on a damp rag between colors. Continue creating new bugs until the jar is full.
  7. When the bugs are all in place and the paint is dry, have him use the small brush and black paint to paint in legs and antennae.
  8. Using the black paint, help to paint a line at the bottom of the jar to create the illusion of depth. Then, paint a line up one side of the jar, to give the appearance of glass. Also, paint a line for the jar lid.
  9. Allow the paint to dry and help your child use a glue stick to glue the jar onto the colored piece of construction paper.
  10. Hang up your creepy-crawlers on a wall to brighten any room.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

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