Stone tracing art for kids activity and post by Joanna Walker of The Blue Barn.
Hello, I’m so excited to be here. I’m like a giddy school kid today who maybe ate too many red skittles!
I was over the moon when Jean asked me to come over and share on her beautiful site. She’s been my go-to for art inspiration since my kiddos were born. I have both of her books (which are perfectly put together from start to finish) and I love all of her wonderfully creative ideas and invitations to create with your child.
But hold on, I got carried away, I never introduced myself.
My name is Joanna Walker. I’m a mom to four children ages 13, 11, 9 & 7. I’m the creator behind The Blue Barn which offers art experiences for children in our local area, and I teach preschool art classes part-time at our local art center.
I first shared this stone tracing art for kids idea over on Instagram a while back. It is one of my most liked posts so I am delighted to share it again here with a little more information. I hope that others can enjoy this easy tracing art for kids’ activity!
I love this project in part because of it’s simplicity but also because of the way it allows children to bring the natural world into their art exploration. At the same time, it also encourages some great fine motor skill practice!
The Benefits of Tracing for Kids
Tracing is such a key skill for preschoolers to practice and learn. Once a child gets to school they will be expected to be able to hold a pencil and trace letters in order to write. These skills do not appear overnight, a child needs to develop these fine motor skills that come with age and practice.
Holding a crayon from a young age and simply making marks begins the process. A great way to encourage this fine motor skill is through engaging drawing activities like tracing. Tracing is especially awesome because it helps children find and learn ways to control the lines they make; my kids have always loved to trace.
Tracing also encourages concentration (have you ever seen a child with their tongue out as they focus on following a line?), hand-eye coordination, spacial awareness, and is simply fun.
Younger children really get a kick out of tracing things, especially lifting them up to see an image that is similar to the object. Even older children enjoy tracing pictures, shadows and patterns because they might not yet have the skills to create such accurate images themselves.
Want to try this stone tracing art for kids? This is what you’ll need.
Stone Tracing Art for Kids
- Black pastel or thick black crayon
- White watercolor paper
- Paints – we love these Richeson tempera paint cakes, but watercolor would work, too
- Your favorite stone!
Step 1. Trace around stone
Begin by asking your child to draw around the outside of the stone. Show them how to hold the pastel if they are very young and unfamiliar.
Direct them to use one hand to keep the stone in place and using their writing hand to keep the pastel next to the edge of the stone as they draw around it. They can even rest slightly on a smooth stone to help keep their hand steady.
Step 2. Repeat tracing
Repeat the process over again. Have the child move the stone to a different spot on the paper. I like to encourage them to overlap the tracing at some points; this will allow some fun when we get to the painting part of the project.
Maybe they’ll want to use the shapes to create a different image made out of the stone outlines. What can you see?
Here are some of the different examples of pictures created by my kids as they completed this activity.
Step 3. Paint
Once your child is finished tracing the stones, it is time to bring out the watercolors. I began by showing them that if we just used red, blue and yellow we could mix other colors.
It is fun to create a bubble of one color and when it overlaps another colored bubble to think about what those two colors will make when mixed together.
For instance, here we painted the blue and yellow bubbles and where they overlapped we observed how the two colors mixed into green. This is exciting for a little one who now realizes they can mix a new color. If your kids are into the color mixing aspect of this activity, here are more great color mixing ideas!
What happens if we mix red and yellow? Or red and blue? What if all three colors mix in the middle? We can be art scientists!
Have fun with the paint and let them explore!
More Tracing Art For Kids
And why not have your child see if they can create a picture of something completely different from their stone tracing?
The most important thing to remember is to have fun and let your child explore. So many times, I find my kids will take us in a completely different direction than the plan and I’m always amazed at the creative freedom of a child’s process.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna Walker of The Blue Barn
Joanna Walker is the creator behind behind The Blue Barn which offers art experiences for children, and she teaches preschool art classes part-time. She’s a mom to four children ages 13, 11, 9 & 7. If you’d like to see more ideas from Joanna, you can check out her blog, Blue Barn Living. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. (Her favorite place to hang out online is Instagram because everyone there is always so positive and supportive of each other’s creativity and there is SO much inspiration to be found.)
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