Fingerprints. They’re everywhere! We’re used to cleaning them off every surface our kids touch, over and over and over again. But fingerprints can be fun!


Every fingerprint is different, and since we leave our fingerprints on everything we touch (We know, right?), we can use fingerprints to identify people. Forensic scientists “lift fingerprints” from crime scenes to help them determine who was there. We found this great fingerprint lifting activity in The Usborne Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do
. You and your super sleuths can do it, too.

Here’s what you’ll need.

Fingerprints Supplies


  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • A bowl, lid or container
  • OR

  • Cocoa powder
  • AND

  • Clear tape
  • A dry brush


  1. Use a pair of scissors to scrape a piece of chalk over a container to collect the powder or just grab some cocoa powder.
  2. Fingerprints 1

  3. Find or make a fingerprint. We had plenty to choose from: fingerprints on the door, the windows, the television screen. We decided to use fingerprints from a glass vase.
  4. Dip the brush into the powder and carefully dust it onto the fingerprint. The dust will stick to the grease from your finger.
  5. Fingerprints 2

    Fingerprints 3

  6. Blow off any excess powder and lay a piece of clear tape on the fingerprint. Press the tape flat, then carefully peel it off. Congratulations, Detective! You’ve lifted the fingerprint!
  7. Fingerprints 4

  8. You may want to stick the fingerprint to a piece of colored paper so it’s easier to see.
  9. Fingerprints 5

Want some more fingerprint fun? Make some fingerprint people! Here’s what you’ll need:

Fingerprints 6


  • A washable ink pad
  • OR

  • A piece of sponge
  • Thick paint
  • AND

  • Paper
  • Art supplies such as crayons, colored pencils or markers


  1. Apply some thick paint to your sponge or open your ink pad.
  2. Fingerprints 7

  3. Press the tip of a finger into the paint or the pad until it is coated.
  4. Fingerprints 8

  5. Press the finger onto your paper and make a fingerprint.
  6. Fingerprints 9

  7. Use your art supplies to add faces, arms, legs, and accessories to your fingerprints to create fun characters.
  8. Fingerprints 10

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.