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Fingerprint Science Project for Kids

Updated on October 21, 2008

Whether home on a break or just bored on the weekend, there are plenty of easy-to-do science project 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 born, 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:

  • Ink pad
  • Magnifying glass
  • Paper
  • Ink pen

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. 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.) 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.

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

Read more from Lela Davidson

Read Lela's humor column, After the Bubbly

Learn about writing with Writing Mom


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    CUTIE_MAMA 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    poohie 6 years ago


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    candy 6 years ago

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

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    nonya. 6 years ago is way better than this,yall people commenting on here should way try it!!!! its!

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    143 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    nikitha 6 years ago

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

  • profile image

    nikitha 6 years ago

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

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    Something 6 years ago

    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

  • profile image

    bisnca 7 years ago

    yeah well um nice work it sooo cool

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    chubbyhubby 7 years ago

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

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

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    Angelina 7 years ago

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

  • profile image

    shemar 7 years ago

    i really like this site and i might come back here

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    natasha 7 years ago

    this finger printing project rox i well sooooooo get a+

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    arianne  7 years ago

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

  • profile image

    babe 7 years ago


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    melissa 7 years ago

    this is a good project!!!

  • profile image

    larissa 7 years ago

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

    haa haa!!!! lol

  • profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago

    This is ok but i expected more

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    Camille 8 years ago

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

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    boo-boo 8 years ago


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    lewis 8 years ago

    dis is well good especially the arch

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    chipego 8 years ago

    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 .

  • profile image

    chipego 8 years ago

    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 !

  • profile image

    kim 8 years ago

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

  • profile image

    creal 8 years ago

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

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    nyrkiel 8 years ago


  • 2patricias profile image

    2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    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 profile image

    Mary K Weinhagen 9 years ago from Minnesota, usa, Planet Earth

    What a FABULOUS HUB!!!

    I really appreciate the large, very clear images!

    ;-)~~Mary K

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    DeborahBlake21 9 years ago

    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.

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    Isabella 9 years ago

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

  • johnr54 profile image

    Joanie Ruppel 9 years ago from Texas

    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 profile image

    privateye2500 9 years ago from Canada, USA, London

    This is very good!

    Kids need and desire this type of learning experience.

  • greathub profile image

    greathub 9 years ago from Earth

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

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    Doctor of Thuganomics 9 years ago

    you need better experiments.

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    DMartelonline 9 years ago

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

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    Halli  9 years ago

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

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    Geogre 9 years ago

    BlahBlahBLah u stink

  • thecounterpunch profile image

    thecounterpunch 9 years ago

    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.

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    kayla 10 years ago

    you are sooooooooooooooooooooo cool

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    Rachel 10 years ago

    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 profile image

    Robin Edmondson 10 years ago from San Francisco

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