Make a fingerprint gumball machine

gumball machine, craft, counting activity, painting activity, preschoolersMy daughter has become obsessed with gumballs. She loves everything about them! She enjoys exploring different types of gumball machines and we always carry a quarter with us in the event she spots one.

This summer, as we head toward her first days of preschool, we’ve been looking for some activities to do that help reinforce counting. This was a great activity for her. We were able to focus on counting each color, how many “gumballs” she made of each color, which colors she did more or less of, etc.

This activity took up about 45 minutes and  gave her some great hands-on time with paint. She especially loved the small container of gumballs I gave her afterward!


Red construction paper
White cardstock paper
Multiple colors of washable paint




From the piece of red construction paper cut the base and top shapes of a gumball machine. Glue these onto the white piece of cardstock. Using the Sharpie, draw the glass-ball shape.

gumball machine, craft, activity, preschoolers, paint, counting
Have your child dip fingers into the various paint colors and press onto the paper. Fill up the glass ball with gum balls!

gumball machine, craft, painting activity, counting activity, preschoolers

Posted by Mandy Bopp, of Phoenix, a professional musician and the mother of three children. She also blogs at

crafts, kids, families, Arizona, Raising Arizona Kids, RAK magazine