Looking for a fun spring craft for kids? This Thumbprint Caterpillar craft for kids is great way to enjoy spring and it fits perfectly with the classic book by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Spring is nearly here and we’ve been busy as bees doing insect and flower crafts. I’ve been enjoying doing craft projects with my kids that feature my kids fingerprints and handprints, so making a fingerprint caterpillar was naturally next on the list of fun art projects for spring!!

Adorable Thumbprint Caterpillars - a fingerprint caterpillar art project for kids

Springtime is a great time to talk about insects in a preschool classroom because as we all know, insects are everywhere in the spring!

To make this caterpillar thumbprint art fast and easy, I’ve created a leaf template printable for you. You can download the free template for a leaf to make your caterpillar fingerprint art on at the end of the article.

But first….

Are Caterpillars Insects?

Yes! Just like their adult forms (butterfly or moth), caterpillars are insects! Making caterpillars a fun addition to our fingerprint insects series!

What is Thumbprint Art?

Thumbprint art is fun artwork created by stamping fingers or a thumb into paint or ink and making prints, which are then used to create artwork. It’s perfect for toddlers and preschoolers as it develops fine motor skills. Thumbprint art is always adorable and 100% unique to each child!

OK! Let’s make a thumbprint caterpillar project!

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Thumbprint caterpillar craft for kids (completed)

Supplies for Thumbprint Caterpillar Craft

For this Caterpillar fingerprint craft, you will need the following items:

  • Free Printable Leaf Template for Thumbprint Caterpillars (You can grab this at the end of this article)
  • Red and Green washable paint (We love this Crayola brand kid paint) You can choose different colors if you like.
  • Paper plates or bowl for paint
  • Black marker or pen
  • Crayons
  • Optional: Table cloth, smocks, baby wipes
  • Also, alternatively you could use red or green stamp pads instead of paint (make sure it’s a washable ink pad!)

How to make a Fingerprint Caterpillar Craft

First, print out your caterpillar leaf printable. Provide your child will a green crayon hand have them color the leaf green.

To minimize mess, place a plastic table cloth on your table and have the children put on painting smocks.

Next, pour some green paint on a plate. It’s time for the thumb painting!

Thumbprint caterpillars being stamped

Have your children take their thumb and dip it into a little paint and then stamp their thumb onto the leaf they colored.

Show them how to make a series of thumbprints in a row that are connected to create the caterpillars body segments. I tell my kids to dip, stamp, dip, stamp, to make sure they have enough paint on their thumb each time.

Once they have made a row of green thumbprint marks on the leaf, have them wipe the green off their thumb.

Next, pour a tiny bit of red paint onto the plate and have them make a single thumbprint to be the caterpillar’s head. We choose to do red and green paint colors because it reminded us of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. (Which I totally recommend that you read over and over with your kids!)

Once you have finished thumbprint painting, it’s time to let your paint dry! It will probably take several hours to completely dry, depending on how thick the paint is.

fingerprint caterpillars printed with red and green paint

Once the fingerprint caterpillars are dry, it’s time to add some personality to the artwork!

Show your child how to draw legs on the caterpillar. Encourage them to add a caterpillar face and antennae.

adding legs and faces to the thumbprint caterpillars

And that’s it! Easy peasy! Each child’s caterpillar will be a little bit different and totally unique! What a fun project!

I hope you enjoy making these fun thumbprint caterpillars with your kids!

Thumbprint caterpillar craft with legs and face drawn on.

Get the Free Fingerprint Caterpillar Printable Leaf Template PDF

To get the free printable leaf template for your caterpillar craft just click the black download button below.

I hope you have a great time with this thumbprint caterpillar craft! Also, keep in mind this caterpillar craft could also be used for teaching the letter C, a unit on Eric Carle, or talking about butterflies!

More Insect Crafts for Kids

Want more Insect Crafts for young children?

There’s some free Caterpillar Coloring pages here. Perfect for coloring or painting! You can find a Thumbprint Ladybug Craft here with a free printable leaf.

You’ll find over 20 free Insect Printables here including worksheets, coloring pages, and more!

There’s a Thumbprint Bee tutorial with a free bee hive template here. It’s another finger paint project that’s full of fun!

There’s also a paper bee craft with wings that move. It’s such a cute craft!

You can find 21 incredible bee crafts for kids here.

Lastly, you can find some flower crafts for kids here…..to go with all those insects and bugs!

Cute Thumbprint caterpillar craft for kids

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