How to Make Fingerprints With Kids

Updated July 20, 2017

Fingerprinting your kids has a number of benefits. First of all, kids love to do it and it presents a great opportunity to discuss and demonstrate individuality. Secondly, kids can enjoy them as craft projects, drawing faces and animal features on the prints. For parents, it gives you a record of your child at a specific moment in time, and the same basic process can be used for handprints and footprints as well. And, perhaps most importantly, fingerprint records could help positively identify your child if you should ever need to.

Wash and dry your child's hands thoroughly.

Tape down the paper so it will not roll or move during the process.

Direct the child to gently roll a finger in the ink pad.

Take the child's finger off the pad and move it to the paper so that one side of the finger touches the paper. For the right hand, begin with the left side of the finger. For the left hand, begin with the right side of the finger.

Roll the child's finger from one side of the fingernail to the other, making sure there is good contact between the finger and the paper.

Lift your child's finger at the end of the roll at a 90-degree angle from the paper.

Repeat for each finger of each hand and the thumbs. For the thumbs, roll in the opposite direction of the finger rolls.

Wash hands and dry with paper towels when the process is complete.


Fingerprint pads are available in many office supply stores. They often feature easily washable ink. If you just want a simple temporary fingerprint, you can rub a square of pencil graphite onto a piece of paper and use this instead of ink.


Don't press hard on the paper because it may smudge the results.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Towel
  • Nontoxic ink pad
  • White non-textured paper
  • Tape
  • Ink pen
  • Paper towels
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About the Author

Sean Kotz has been writing professionally since 1988 and is a regular columnist for the Roanoke Times. He has also written for the Blue Ridge Business Journal, The Roanoker, 50 Plus, and Prehistoric Times, among others. He holds a Master of Arts in literature from Virginia Tech.