Fingerprint Fall Trees

What You Need:

  • Tempera paint
  • Paper


What You Do:

  1. Begin with color mixing. Give your child the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) as well as white paint.  Encourage them to explore with mixing and creating their own unique colors. Remind them of specific fall colors such as oranges and browns (brown can be a tricky color for very young children to mix, therefore it may be wise to have some ready made brown paint on hand). Paint mixing can be done with a small paint brush, or with the child’s hands.  Take this opportunity to talk to your child about how different colors mix together to make new colors.  For example, blue and yellow make green and colors opposite each other on the color wheel (such as green and orange) make brown.
  2. Ask you child to dip a finger it to the brown paint. Have them press their finger repeatedly onto the paper, making a tree trunk line. They can make the trunk as thick or as thin as they likes.
  3. Repeat step two for the branches, making thinner lines coming out of the trunk.
  4. Add leaves by asking your child to choose fall inspired leaf colors. Have them dip a finger into the colors one at a time, and then press the finger onto the paper (on the branches). Try creating patterns with the colors on the branches. Make sure they wash the finger they used for the trunk, or starts with a new finger, so that they don't contaminate the colors of the leaves.
  5. Repeat these steps multiple times to create a forest of fall trees.
  6. Optional: Add extra fall color finger prints on the ground to make piles of fallen leaves.


Fingerprint fall trees are a fun way to create a special memento of the season. Try this activity in the other seasons as well. In the winter, use white paint for snow, for the spring try light and dark greens, and add a rainbow of vibrant flowers for the summer.

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