Many years ago (2014 was the original date of this pumpkin thumbprint craft!), we made a Halloween painting with thumbprint pumpkins. We actually included fingers too, and made the pumpkin patch painting with fingerprint pumpkins as well. This Halloween sensory activity was a fine motor powerhouse and one of our favorite Halloween occupational therapy activities. Let’s take a walk in the fingerprint pumpkin patch!
This pumpkin fingerprint craft can be modified for different goal areas.
If you need a quick and easy Pumpkin activity or craft for the kids this Fall, then this thumbprint craft is a sure winner. We used a fine motor item from a previous post that you would never guess. Get ready for a blast from the past with this Halloween craft for the kids!
Our thumbprint pumpkins are a bit different than many of the thumbprint or fingerprint painting activities you might find this time of year.
While using your finger or thumb to press paint onto paper to make mini pumpkins is a great sensory activity, we wanted to offer pumpkin fingerprint options for the individual that may be tactile sensitive to fingerpaints. Read up on our blog post on tactile defensiveness for more information.
However, you could expand this activity to meet the needs of all individuals.
In the activity described below, we used a foam roller to press into paint and then onto the paper. This is a bit different than typical pumpkin fingerprint art. When you press the roller into paint and then onto the paper, you don’t get that messy sensory experience of finger print art.
Another benefit is cutting the foam material which is a scissor skills task, and working on force modulation by pressing down on the foam circle.
Pressing harder makes a bigger pumpkin stamp and pressing with less force makes a smaller pumpkin stamp.
However, there are SO many benefits to the way we used this activity…and you can definitely add the benefits of fingerprint art like we did to add details like the leaves of the pumpkins.
Why do a pumpkin fingerprint craft
Whether you use the modified version of this pumpkin thumbprint/pumpkin fingerprint art, or you press the fingers right into the paint and press them on the paper, there are so many benefits to using fingerprint art in building sensory motor skills.
Finger isolation– Pressing the fingers or thumb to make pumpkin fingerprint art supports finger isolation skills. You can target thumb isolation and mobility of the thumb joint or you can work toward individual finger isolation.
We cover this in more detail in our blog post on fingerprint art.
Separation of the sides of the hand– Separating the precision side of the hand from the power side of the hand supports fine motor work in using tools like scissors or writing with a pencil. With fingerprint art, pressing the fingers to the paper in isolation supports this skill by using the ulnar side of the hand in supporting the radial side of the hand. Fingerprint art where the pinkie and ring fingers are tucked into the palm while the pointer finger or thumb is used to press the paper, is when we see this in action.
Pumpkin Thumprint craft
To make our pumpkin thumbprint craft, we needed just a few materials:
- Foam Rollers
We started with foam “beads” that we used in our foam beading fine motor activity a while back.
Did you use foam rollers back in the day? We practiced scissor skills with these and used them to make our pumpkin stamps this Fall. From curls to pumpkin prints…these rollers have come a long way!
I pulled out our orange paint and let Baby Girl stamp away.
Grab the Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit for more coloring, cutting, and eye-hand coordination activities with a Pumpkin theme! It includes:
- 7 digital products that can be used any time of year- has a “pumpkins” theme
- 5 pumpkin scissor skills cutting strips
- Pumpkin scissor skills shapes- use in sensory bins, math, sorting, pattern activities
- 2 pumpkin visual perception mazes with writing activity
- Pumpkin “I Spy” sheet – color in the outline shapes to build pencil control and fine motor strength
- Pumpkin Lacing cards – print, color, and hole punch to build bilateral coordination skills
- 2 Pumpkin theme handwriting pages – single and double rule bold lined paper for handwriting practice
Work on underlying fine motor and visual motor integration skills so you can help students excel in handwriting, learning, and motor skill development.
You can grab this Pumpkin Fine Motor kit for just $6!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.