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Exploring Fingerprints Activity

Exploring fingerprints is a fun way to show your child that they are unique in a cool way! This is an easy science experiment that will not only touch on your child’s emotional side of knowing they are different but will also build their cognition.

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Activity PDF

Is your fingerprint similar or different?

This is an easy activity to talk with your child about their own identity and that they have fingerprints special to just them! Start with a book if possible. Then, simply grab some paper and an ink pad and have your child make prints with all ten fingers. Finally, with a magnifying glass check them out in more detail and try to find a pattern. 

📚 Books to explore: Fingerprint - What Makes me Unique: Biology for Kids by Baby Professor; Officer Panda: Fingerprint Detective by Ashley Crowley; and Fingerprint Fun by Jorge Martin. 

🧼 Messy Alert! This activity can get very messy so have soap readying for hand washing! 

🔢 Count your findings. Have your child count their fingers and identify which print is from which finger.


For this activity you will need:

White paper 

Watered Down paint OR Inkpad

Magnifying glass

Learning Outcomes






Talking about their personal characteristics.


Step 1:

Water down a little bit of paint. Not too much or it will run OR Have your child press one finger in the inkpad 

Step 2:

Gently roll the finger on a blank piece of paper.

Step 3:

Repeat until you have done all ten fingers.

Step 4:

Under a magnifying glass, look at the prints and talk about their patterns. 

Step 5:

Do your own fingerprints for comparison (optional). 

✨ Pro Tip: If the ink is coming out runny then use a scrap piece of paper to take off the excess ink.

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Have them get more in-depth with this activity by comparing their fingerprints to other people’s prints.

⬇️ For younger toddlers: Let your child explore the fingerprint and then have them draw around it to make it into a bug or flower.

Playful Questions

What is similar about your fingerprints and mine?

What is different?

Do you see a pattern in the fingerprints?

Which finger is this fingerprint from?

How many lines do you see in this fingerprint?

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