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Fingerprint Science Project for Kids

Lela Davidson is a mother and writer who is passionate about healthcare and education for women and children.


Whether home on a break or just bored on the weekend, there are plenty of easy-to-do science projects kids can do at home. Fun science experiments can spur an interest in children who may or may not already be excited about the subject.

Learning about fingerprints and taking them is a fun experiment that also gives instant results. This project appeals to a wide variety of ages, too. For little kids, you can emphasize playing with the ink, and for older kids, you can put a ‘Junior CSI' spin on the experiment.

Fingerprints Are Important

Fingerprints have been used by governments the world over for more than a hundred years and are still the most widely used form of identification.

Kids may already know about the identification use for fingerprints, but they will love to learn about the anatomical purpose of fingerprints.

  • Without those one-of-a-kind ridges, we wouldn't be able to grip things!
  • Our fingerprints give our fingers the rough surface we need to create the friction that allows us to pick up a baseball or hold onto a pencil to take a test.

Kids will be interested to learn their fingerprints were on the tiny tips of their fingers long before they were born, and that they are 100% unique—no two people have exactly the same fingerprint.

  • Explain how fingerprints are used to catch criminals and can also help to find lost children.
  • Tell kids how fingerprints can leave an ‘invisible ink' of sorts that police can decode with special tools and equipment.
  • Fingerprints can last for years on an object if it is not cleaned after being touched. This can be observed easily on old silver. Pull out grandma's spoons or take a trip to the local flea market for a sample.

Get Those Prints

This project is more fun with a group, because kids can compare fingerprints and learn from the variety.

You will only need a few household items for this experiment:

  • Inkpad
  • Magnifying glass
  • Paper
  • Ink pen
  1. Label paper with the child's name. If you don't mind a mess, let the kids take each other's prints. But if you have nice fabric close by, let a parent help.
  2. Starting with the pinky finger of the left hand, press fingers into ink then touch to the paper. (Experts roll each finger from left to right to get a more thorough print.)
  3. Let the prints dry, then observe with the magnifying glass.

There are many different patterns of fingerprints. It's interesting to note that not all fingers on a given hand will bear the same pattern.

Examples of fingerprint patterns.

Examples of fingerprint patterns.

Fingerprints Are Fun!

Who says art and science don't mix? After learning all about the form and use of fingerprints, younger kids will love to break out the colored ink and have some fun.

Check out this website for adorable fingerprint art for kids to try. It's got pictures of the finished product, as well as step-by-step instructions.

More Science Resources

All you ever wanted to know about fingerprints can be found here.


fdgdfgdsfgsgdfgdfggfdg on May 09, 2020:

yo dood it was cooooooool

Joshua Merida on February 19, 2019:

love it it's dope

CUTIE_MAMA on January 23, 2011:

i also think the project was pretty good i got an A

poohie on December 17, 2010:


candy on December 16, 2010:

this is an awesome website think theat it is great for chldren

nonya. on December 09, 2010: is way better than this,yall people commenting on here should way try it!!!! its!

143 on October 20, 2010:

i like it!!!!!!!!nice!!!!!!!!!!!love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!oh but i love some other

nikitha on October 20, 2010:

i liked it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nikitha on October 20, 2010:

i liked it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Something on October 17, 2010:

This has a lot of cool information' I'm sure my teacher will love it!!! A+ Here I Come!!! :)

Thanks You guys who wrote this I Love It

bisnca on May 31, 2010:

yeah well um nice work it sooo cool

chubbyhubby on May 02, 2010:

this site rox! i am working on fingerprints 4 my science project and i hope i win. thanks 4 the idea!!

=) :) :D :p :) :0) :-)

Angelina on April 26, 2010:

im going to get a #1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

shemar on April 06, 2010:

i really like this site and i might come back here

natasha on March 13, 2010:

this finger printing project rox i well sooooooo get a+

arianne on February 04, 2010:

I love the pepol who did this.I llllllooooooovvvvvvvveeee you.LOVE ARIANNE

babe on January 18, 2010:


melissa on November 12, 2009:

this is a good project!!!

larissa on November 10, 2009:

this is very cool and awesome and easy!!!!!=] =) hee hee and

haa haa!!!! lol

Andrew on October 22, 2009:

This is ok but i expected more

Camille on June 02, 2009:

Well done. Im glad I did this. It's a very..... interesting thing.Thanks SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! :)

boo-boo on May 05, 2009:


lewis on March 02, 2009:

dis is well good especially the arch

chipego on February 09, 2009:

wow HUH !

this page totally rocks i got an A+ because of you thanks so much and for all the people who say it stinks whyd you open an account .

chipego on February 09, 2009:

awesome this is sooooooo cool i wille most definitely get an A+ on this project and by the way the GEOGRE your the one who stinks or maybe you are just not smart enough to understand HUH !

kim on January 06, 2009:

i don't like this resorcue because it does not help you with finger printing

creal on January 03, 2009:

this is awesome i love this it is now apart of my project

nyrkiel on November 09, 2008:


2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on May 09, 2008:

This would be a good start for a science project - but a really good project would include information about other ways to identify an individual - say DNA. Of course, depends on the age of the child...

Mary K Weinhagen from Minnesota, usa, Planet Earth on May 07, 2008:


I really appreciate the large, very clear images!

;-)~~Mary K

DeborahBlake21 on April 23, 2008:

That's a fun and very educational project for kids! Great idea! Indeed, fingerprints have long been in use, even in ancient civilizations. BiometricsNews -- -- has an interesting narrative of the history of biometric fingerprints. You may want to check it out.

Isabella on March 30, 2008:

Thanks so much for this !!!! I love it !!!!!!

Joanie Ruppel from Texas on March 10, 2008:

My son has to do a science project next year, I think I'll keep this around so he when he doesn't have any ideas I can suggest this as a good one.

privateye2500 from Canada, USA, London on March 10, 2008:

This is very good!

Kids need and desire this type of learning experience.

greathub from Earth on February 07, 2008:

This is a really interesting idea. I have written about how one can make a solar reflector. This hub provides detailed information:

Doctor of Thuganomics on February 05, 2008:

you need better experiments.

DMartelonline on January 11, 2008:

Here's some other fun projects for kids! Nothing this scientific (which is a great hub by the way)

Halli on January 08, 2008:

Hey This Is The Best Project Man Yup Cool Kid Man!

Geogre on November 17, 2007:

BlahBlahBLah u stink

thecounterpunch on November 03, 2007:

I don't think it's so cooooooooooool. This kind of program just ingrains into children the subconscious idea of being one day controlled by fingerprint then by microchip which is clearly in the trend:

A very scientologic idea, isn't it ?

Scientology is known to widespread through their education scheme which is in direct line with the CIA scheme.

kayla on September 07, 2007:

you are sooooooooooooooooooooo cool

Rachel on June 20, 2007:

I just wanted to say how much I appreciated this resource. I found out that I am going to be working with several children for about 4 weeks this summer - teaching them a little bit about science. I've always enjoyed looking at fingerprints, and this is the only site I found with all the information I need to pass on in a clear, concise format. It's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!!

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on April 23, 2007:

Great project. My four year old will love it! Thanks!