Saturday, May 12, 2012

make a fingerprint brooch for mother's day

 Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I know this post comes late but I couldn't get pics to you earlier as we had the toddlers make these just this week.

There's a time for open ended art exploration with toddlers and then there's a time for having a very focused goal to the end product. This project is one of the few where I am focused not on the process so much as the product. Not exactly kid focused but still cool, I promise. We approached this as a project for the toddlers to "listen to instructions" and after a leisurely round of playing with the dough, here is what we did. The picks come from my redo as I was unable to get any of the kiddos working their fingerprint magic. 

*a half batch of porcelain clay
*glue gun
*watercolor paper
*small container of water
*small hole punch or fat needle
*pretty paper sacks (optional)
Our awesome toddler teacher made a batch of air dry porcelain from this blog. One half batch made more than enough for fourteen kiddos. We gave each kiddo a ball of dough to play with and when they were ready we broke off a smaller bal and got ready for some smooshing.
We used paper plates to flatten the dough into small disc and then had each kiddo press their thumb into the ball. Discs were quickly relocated to a piece of paper with their names written below their dough for some quality air drying time. The dough took a little less than 48 hours to dry fully and took on a slight yellowing which appeared to fade once the dough was totally dry.
Next up, we handed each kiddo a small torn piece of watercolor paper and had them choose two colors of Colorations Liquid Watercolor. When using watercolors with toddlers, I recommend using the liquid watercolors as the cakes need a little more attention than the young uns' generally have. There was a lot of discussion about Mom's favorite color but soon we were off and painting! Set aside watercolors to dry.
Away from tiny curious hands, use a hot glue gun to affix pin-backs to the back of each thumbprint. 
When the tiny watercolors are dry, use a small hole punch to punch two holes into the paper to affix the now super awesome brooch. 
Slip the whole thing in a happy bag with a message for Mom and stand back with a smile! Happy Mother's Day!


  1. I love this and wish I had seen it before Mother's Day! Will have to file away for future kid-made presents :)

  2. Thank you! We only just did it so we weren't able to get it to ya earlier. Please do sock it away. Looking forward to seeing some next year!