Finger Print Mirror Painting for Kids

I was transported back to my old infant school classroom last week during one of our arts and crafts activities. Chatting through some ideas with a friend recently, she reminded me about a great activity from our school days.  Do you remember doing Mirror Painting?

How to do Finger Print Mirror Painting

  1. Add paint to a tray.
  2. Swirl your hands and fingers around in the paint making pictures or patterns.
  3. Place a sheet of white paper over your “masterpiece” and gently lift if off to reveal a mirror image of your painting.
I had to have a go at this with my kids and they loved it (well mostly).
We drizzled different coloured paints over individual trays (one for each of my kids) and chatted about what we were going to do. The kids then needed no invitation to dive straight into their trays and start tracing out patterns and pictures with their fingers (and hands for my 2 year old!).
My 6 year old wrote his name in his paint, but got a bit of a shock when he printed out it’s mirror image. Not to be deterred, he then set about writing his name backwards, so that he could print it out the correct way. A great spot of problem solving and perseverance.
 Finger Print Painting
My 4 year old was pretty happy swirling his fingers around in the paint making different patterns and printing these out onto white paper. He did get a bit stressed about the mess levels though.  I always have wipes and kitchen towels on stand by to help with this phobia before sending him off to the sink to wash the rest off.
Child finger painting a boat
We did try and explain the concept to my 2 year old daughter.  She loved getting her hands in the paint and smoothing it out. And she did attempt a few swirls, but then she immediately rubbed them out.  Inevitably though, as painting activities often seem to go with my daughter, she ended up smearing the paint over her hands and arms. I had to step in again with the wipes to swiftly avert a paint covered house disaster!
Child's arms covered in paint
The boys got more imaginative as the session went on and they had a whole table full of pictures created in no time at all.
 Finger Print Mirror Painting
We left the pictures to dry and when they had they looked even more impressive.  We will definitely be doing this activity again experimenting with using different colour combinations and thinking of new ideas for pictures to create.
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10 comments… add one
  • Totschooling September 8, 2014, 3:14 pm

    This is really cool and a great lesson in printmaking! I will have to try this with my girls!

  • Coombe Mill September 9, 2014, 9:09 am

    I remember doing this too, a great craft to revive #TuesdayTutorials

  • pixiedusk September 9, 2014, 8:50 pm

    My fave school activity when Im still wee. My son loves this too! #letkidsbekids

  • Eileen Teo September 9, 2014, 11:31 pm

    such a great ideas! i had not seen this one before! Thank you for sharing it with us #Pintorials

  • Karen Bell September 10, 2014, 7:15 am

    I've not heard of that type of painting, it looks like a great fun messy play painting session and fascinating how he learnt about the mirror writing. What a good activity
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsbeKids

  • Suzanne Schlechte September 10, 2014, 9:19 am

    I think it's time to do some more finger painting. It looks like you had so much fun. I've never had my kids do printing in the paint where they would notice the reversal. What a great discovery. Going to share this on my fb page!

  • Louisa September 11, 2014, 8:01 pm

    I don't remember ever doing this but I love it. I will definitely give this a try ( and maybe even let the kids have a go too) #mmwbh

  • Cass@TheDiaryofaFrugalFamily September 13, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I love fingerpainting – Thanks for joining in with this week's Parenting Pin It Party xx

  • Deborah Patrick September 16, 2014, 6:08 pm

    What a fun activity and I think my toddler would be washing it up her arms like ones of your little ones in the photos there, haha! Great activity & thanks for linking up! #MMWBH

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