Make a Keepsake Thumb Print Pumpkin Patch

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You only need simple supplies for this project and you probably already have them at home. I’ll include links below in case you need to stock up on anything.

See my thoughts below on how you can create another activity for finding your leaves!

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Ideal Age Range:

Any age – if you are working with kids younger than 2, you may need another adult to help out.

Mess Factor:

Medium messiness. Paint always has messiness.

Prep Time:

5 – 10 minutes. The older your kids, the lower the prep time. For the youngest children, make sure to cut the white paper and have paint and brushes ready before you begin. You may also want to have a paper towel or cloth handy to quickly wipe their hands. Prep a cup filled with soapy water in the sink for the brushes when you are done.

Take a look at the first picture below to see how I prepped this project for my one year old. I taped two pieces of white paper to our tablecloth (to stabilize) and had the orange paint and brush ready to go. You could also use a baking tray to contain the project area.


I love this project because it is a quick and easy way to make a cute keepsake. You can save it with your fall decorations, give it away as a present, or both (like we did)!

It takes a few tries to get the right amount of paint. You want to press your child’s thumb sideways (so that it looks more like a pumpkin), but you also want a thin layer of paint so that you can see the thumbprint and it makes a nice keepsake. You may want a piece of scrap paper to practice first.

Active Instructions:

  1. Prepare white sheets of construction paper. Make them a little bit larger than the finished project size. Try to get your kids to make their thumbprints in the center of the paper so you can cut off of the excess.
    • If you are making multiple copies, have all of the paper laid out at once.
    • You can want some scrap paper to test with first to make sure you have the right amount of paint on each thumb.
For younger kids, tape the paper in place before you begin.
  1. Paint a thin layer of orange paint on one of your child’s thumbs. Press firmly only the white paper (holding the thumb sideways). You will probably be able to make 2-3 pumpkins before reapplying.
  2. Repeat as needed to make the amount of pumpkins your child wants. Spread the pumpkins around the paper. (I think an odd number looks best.)
My son decided to smear this thumbs into a larger pumpkin…

Spread thumbprints around to create the base for your patch
  1. Once the paint is dry, you can add stems, shadow marks and pumpkin vines using green + brown markers. Older children can do this on their own, simply show them an example picture. For younger children, you an add these details.
Stems
Vine
Shadow lines
  1. Cut the white paper down to remove any negative space.
  2. Create a mat by using a different color piece of construction paper (I used green and orange). Simply cut the color about 1/4″ wider that the white paper. Use a glue stick or tape to attach them.
Finished 1 year old project
Finished 6 year old project

You can see from the finished kid projects above, the kid versions don’t always match the “Instagram” version. And that’s okay!!

My older son used his white paper to mess around, so we moved on to green paper. My 1 year old didn’t like the feel of the paint on his finger, so he smushed it around a bunch. It is all part of the memory of making these. (I did the vines, stems and shadows for both of the ones above.)

We ended up with a version for me to keep and a nice version to give to Grandma!

A Note About Toddlers:

If your child really likes painting, this quick thumb project won’t be enough for them (it was not for my son)!

So have another piece of construction paper, some additional colors of paint, and a few brushes ready.

After I did the thumb prints, I taped a new piece of paper in place and let me son paint as I moved everything over to a drying area. He was very content getting paint all over (including his hair). Then I just dumped him into the bath tub (which created another 20 minutes of activity!).


If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.

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