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How to Make an Easy Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing Project for Preschoolers

The kids in my daycare that ranged in age from two-and-a-half years old to six years old enjoyed making this fun Jack-O-Lantern potato printing picture. Learn how to make this Halloween potato print in six easy steps!

This functional play art piece gives kids great practice honing their fine motor skills. We emphasize fine motor skill development because using our fingers is an important life skill. In addition to learning how to write letters, kids need to develop this skill in order to grasp things. The more we can grasp things, the more we can do. The more kids can do for themselves, the more confident they are.

This picture of pumpkins, Jack-o-lanterns, and cats allows kids to make a not-scary Halloween picture with potato prints and a tiny bit of easy drawing. Kids have fun creating this art while practicing their fine motor skills. This Saskatchewan Online curriculum source discusses how to promote fine motor skills practice in the first grade. So whether you have a first grader, a preschooler, or a toddler, they all benefit from making this terrific Halloween potato printing art!

How to Make the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Print Art

1. Gather the Supplies for the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing

  • Potatoes, cut in half
  • Orange Paint
  • White Chalk
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Wiggle Eyes

Cut the potatoes in half, and put the orange paint into flat containers, like plastic bowl lids. The paint container needs to be flat so the potato can be dipped into it easily. Before you sit the children down to create their Halloween print art picture, you will need to carve jack-o-lantern faces into the cut side of each potato.

2. Make the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing Stamps

Take the sliced end of the potato. Take a small paring knife, and cut out two triangle-shaped eyes. Then cut out a triangle nose, and a mouth with one or two teeth. If the potato is smaller, you may want to only cut out the two eyes and the mouth to make the potato stamp design. Make enough jack-o-lantern potato stamps so that each child has one. Once you have carved out enough, pass out the potato jack-o-lanterns to each child.

3. Stamp the Jack-O-Lanterns on the Paper

Now that each kid has their paint and Jack-O-Lantern potato, it's time to make the Halloween art picture. This is where the fine motor skills get practiced! Children grasp onto the end of the potato, and press the Jack-O-Lantern face down onto the black construction paper. They will need to press hard to make sure the face gets stamped all the way down. Kids need to stamp their potatoes to make Jack-o-lanterns in rows at the bottom of the paper as much as possible. It's okay if kids don't stamp perfectly or stamp some of their jack-o-lantern prints a little bit on top of another potato print.

4. Let the Jack-O-Lantern Prints Dry on the Paper

Kids typically get a very thick paint layer on their potato prints. If there isn't a thick layer, the Jack-o-lantern faces won't show up as prints on the paper. So, you will need to make sure to let the pictures dry for several hours just to be safe. I recommend stamping the potato pumpkin Jack-O-Lanterns on one day and completing the picture the next day.

5. Draw Cats above the Halloween Potato Prints

Besides holding the potato to stamp the jack-o-lanterns for this Halloween activity, fine motor skills are also used when drawing the cats with chalk.

Children use a piece of chalk to draw their cats. The easiest way to draw these Halloween cats is:

  • Draw the upside down V for the left ear, and draw an upside down V for the right ear.
  • Draw the left line straight down from the outside of the left ear, and draw the right line straight down on the outside of the right ear.
  • Finally, draw a line across to connect the two ears.

6. Add Wiggle Eyes to Complete the Halloween Potato Print

Finally, it's time to give our Halloween cats a bit of personality! Kids take the google eyes and adhere two to each of the cats! These pictures are great to display in a classroom. They also are wonderful for kids to take home and hang up on the fridge!

Try these easy and fun preschool apple activities.