Fingerprint Fish Activity

3.7 based on 6 ratings
Updated on May 2, 2013

What lives in the darkest, deepest waters of the ocean? Let your child's imagination go vividly wild while creating brilliant fish using her fingerprints! She will start with a black sheet of paper and paint vibrant colors of tempera paint to create a glowing view of sea creatures.

What You Need:

  • Black drawing paper, 8.5” x 11”
  • Brightly colored tempera paint
  • Paint dishes, or a paper plate
  • Paintbrushes
  • Crayons
  • Newspaper

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child what type of fish live in the ocean and what they look like.
  2. Set out some paint in dishes and have your child practice dipping different parts of her fingertips, entire fingers, thumbprints and the sides of her hands into the paint and then pressing a print onto the newspaper. This will help guide her as to what shapes different parts of her hands can create.
  3. Let her make as many prints of fish as she likes using all different colors directly onto the black paper. She can test print shapes on newspaper to make sure the consistency of the paint is correct for the outcome she wants.
  4. Use the length of fingers to create jellyfish. Or, use multiple pinkie fingertip prints to create a school of fish.
  5. Allow the paint to completely dry.
  6. Go back in with wax crayons to add in fins, eyes, gills and any other information that creates a beautiful, brilliant habitat for deep sea fish.  
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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