Easter Day, sugar high. Here’s a treat for the kids’ Easter baskets that won’t have them bouncing off the walls: Printoons—fun finger painting art that comes in storybook and activity kits. The craft is the brainchild of Leelanau County woman Paula Alflen, a registered dietician who specializes in eating disorders. Alflen developed the craft  to encourage children to embrace their unique identities—since no two fingerprints are exactly alike.

Check out Printoons in Traverse City at Horizon Books, 231-946-7290, horizonbooks.com; Annie’s, 231-946-6201, anniesoftraversecity.com; Borders Bookstore, 231-933-0412, borders.com;

In Petoskey at Grandpa Shorters, 231-347-2603; grandpashorters.com
In Suttons Bay Enerdyne, 231-271-6033, enerdynet.com

Elk Rapids: Twisted Fish Gallery, (231) 264-0123, twistedfishart.com
And on the web at Amazon.com and B&N.com

Here’s a note from Alflen about Printoons.

Hello,I hope your family enjoys creating and sharing their own little Printoon characters as much as we have.  I began doing fingerprint art with my three daughters as a fun family craft, but I soon discovered it was a nice way for us to entertain people.  Our family has had the opportunity to do Printoon Arts and Crafts at camps, parties, vacation resorts, clubs, schools, libraries, churches, festivals, and with the elderly in nursing homes.  Many of the ideas for Printoons came from my daughters and the kids we met along the way.  We kept inventing crazy fingerprint characters (about 2,000), and crafty ways to use the art.  We even named our Printoon friends and wrote stories and poems about them.  The people we met had so much fun doing PRINTOONS they asked us to create kits so they could make them at home… so we did.

Story Books     We love Printoons because they are not only fun but they carry a bigger message.  Since no two fingerprints have ever been found exactly alike, fingerprint art is a great activity to teach children that it is good to be different.  Printoons can stimulate conversation about self-worth and reinforce that we are all created to be unique individuals.  The art itself allows children to express their originality.  As you will clearly see, no two Printoons are ever the same, thus our theme, PRINTOONS ARE SPECIAL LIKE YOU.  The ideas contained in our kits are meant to provide many hours of creative fun, but we know from experience that children only use our ideas as a guide because their own imagination takes over.  Most importantly, have fun with this wholesome family activity.

Paula AlflenRegistered Dietitian Specializing in Eating Disorders.