Lots of tracings

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Our floor is covered with toys, blocks, puzzle pieces, kitchen utensils (because they're clearly more interesting than the baby toys), books, you name it. It's probably on our floor. I thought, hey, instead of pulling my hair out, maybe we could turn this into an art project.

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So on Friday I moved some of the stuff, taped down a piece of our contractor's paper, moved the stuff back into place (on top of the paper), and brought out the markers and pens. Maia and I both traced the objects, which was fun, and also a neat way to translate three-dimensional items onto paper and to see their shapes.

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Maia's done so many body tracings, that this was a nice change of pace, and a way for her to do the tracing herself. Hands and feet were traced as well, but mostly inanimate objects this time.

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When some friends came over, they joined in. I brought out some watercolor paints, thinking they would like to paint in the objects they had traced, but they had their own ideas of how they wanted to paint (as is so often the case!).

I hope you all had a great weekend! We had a hot one — 94 degrees today. Is it hot where you live? We don't have AC and the heat and humidity are getting to me. Sometimes I think I'm a better parent in the spring and fall.




 
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  1. says

    That’s a cute idea! Going to try it this week!
    We are in SoCal and it surely gets hot (though rarely humid). We don’t have AC and usually don’t need it — we live under a canopy of live oaks!

  2. says

    Seems to fit the old adage: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! (which isn’t a bad idea either, in this weather). It was over 100 here the past several days, with high humidity…that’s DC/Northern VA for ya in the summertime, but we’ve had more than our usual share this summer. We’re totally spoiled and couldn’t survive without our AC, so my heart goes out to you. But Ben just came back from two weeks of overnight camp sleeping in a cabin with 12 boys…talk about hot! Love seeing little Daphne sitting and playing like a big girl in the background of your photo!
    P.S. This scene reminds me of a page out of an “I Spy” book!

  3. tasha says

    How fun! Looks like such a cool, creative time was had- what kid would not want to come over and play? And as a mama with two kids of similar ages, I must tell you that your “mess” looks a whole lot neater and cleaner than mine!
    It is VERY hot where I am- South Florida. And my 4 year old wants to be outside all day long. At least being covered in sweat means I’ve detoxed!

  4. says

    This is a great idea Jean, I could see that created in a classroom it could then be used as an ‘I spy’. I am very much enjoying you blog and hope that you don’t mind that I have added your link to my (very new) blog.

  5. says

    Nice idea? Did they get into a bit of jigsaw puzzle type activity if you took the objects away and asked them to put them in their right spots?

  6. says

    ah – now that idea rings well to me – mother of 11 month old. how do you go with your little one eating art supplies though?
    Must try this!

  7. says

    What an awesome idea! We have this same thing going on at our house with our 3 1/2 year old and 6 month old girls. I am definitely going to do this to make our “floor mess” more interesting. We live in Austin, TX…talk about heat! Love your blog! You are an inspiration!

  8. says

    She’s not so mobile that I can’t just move her or redirect her from the art supplies. So far! We are so close to having to rethink all of our lovely accessibility, though.

  9. says

    Link away! No need to ask. I look forward to checking out your blog.
    Maia loves playing ‘I spy’, so an art version might be a big hit with her. Thanks for the idea.

  10. says

    My mess is evenly spread out all over the house. :) Under the dining table (which you can see from this photo) is probably the only clean spot, since I need to sweep it regularly or Daphne will eat the day old food off the floor.

  11. says

    You rock! This is a fantabulous idea! I tried somewhat similar recently with pari. Gave her locks and keys and shells to trace. But not items from the kitchen and other varied things. I could definitely try the spoons and spatulas because Pari is so fascinated with anything to do with kitchen and cooking!
    Talking about heat, Delhi is horribly humid these days. Before the humid phase, it was burning like a kiln. We could not even go out cycling or walking. It really got on our nerves and we decided to invest in an AC for the living room (where we spend most part of the day). More so, because Delhi’s summer is not short, it’s a good 8 months and then 4 months of bone chilling cold…. :(

  12. gabi says

    This is another great idea, I will do it tomorrow in my program, we are talking about animals, I was thinking they can trace some animals on the floor. Any other idea?

  13. Anastasia says

    Love this idea! It is on the list for next week! Side question…the marker holder in your photo, is that bowl with … with… oh i can’t think of the name of the stuff! What you make a cast out of?

  14. says

    Great post!!! Very inspiring… I’m definitely going to get down on the floor with my girls this arvo and do a little tracing…
    Thanks
    Hugs – Jodie :)

  15. says

    I love how this fun activity also helps kids develop their fine motor skills! I’m also loving how you’re spreading the word about affordable ways parents can keep their kids engaged for long periods of time. It develops their concentration muscle, too. What a wonderful idea.

  16. says

    Another fun tracing activity, especially on big paper like that, is to do life-size tracings of each other and color in the clothes, shoes, hair, and skin. You can do funny facial expressions which presents an opportunity to discuss emotion. Then you can cut out the tracings to hang in their room or hallway.
    This activity was one of my favorites as a child. After my sister and I finished our life-size cut-outs we dragged them around the house for days hiding them in inconspicuous spots. We gave our mom a good scare because we left her “portrait” lying in the bathtub!

  17. says

    Love the contractor paper tracing idea! I have a 3 month old and a 4 yr old and I always feel so guilty if I’m busy with the baby. This is a great way to divert my 4 yr old’s attention while improving his fine motor skills and imagination!
    It is typically 97 degrees here every day because I live in Florida so it has been horrible. So sorry to hear that you have no air, don’t know how you do it with no ac in 94 degrees.