This is a deeply creative and fun way to make marks! Part of the fun of this activity is the imaginative element. When a child’s fingers are transformed into mark makers, it allows for dramatic play and self-expression.

With this Play Invitation children can also explore concepts such as movement, direction, trajectory, pressure, and amplitude.

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have been curious about their physical abilities like coordination, and flexibility;
  • Children are excited about claws, and fantastic animals;
  • Children have been exploring imaginative and dramatic play, involving their bodies in the process.

Materials Needed

  • White paper
  • Masking tape
  • Crayons

Setting up This Play Invitation

  1. Tape crayons onto children’s fingers. Be careful not wrap the tape too tightly and constrict circulation.
  2. Place a large piece of paper on a table or on the wall.

How to Create the Drawing

  1. Invite children to make marks with their new “fingers.” Establish that the finger “markers” can only mark the paper you have provided.
Child showing crayons taped to fingers like claws

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to play and fantasy as part of their daily lives. The educator must create spaces for symbolic play in different contexts and situations, beyond the “home” and “garage” areas. In this way, we respect children’s thinking, expression, and meaning-making process.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • MATH: Develop directionality and spatial awareness, counting.
  • LANGUAGE: Build new vocabulary, use language to share ideas, and build narratives.
  • PHYSICAL: Develop fine motor skills and flexibility, explore space, move freely, and invent new movements.
  • ART: Engage in dramatic play, use new expressive techniques, and use the body as a tool.


  • Offer a large piece of paper and invite children to walk across it with markers or pastels on their hands and feet. Imagining they are different animals or characters, what marks would they create?

Book Recommendation

A children’s classic about how fantastical animals might not be as scary as they seem.