Leave a Trace

Trace (2)

It may be the middle of summer now, but fall is just around the corner, and I’m already thinking ahead to when Travis will start pre-K in September. One of the skills that pre-K teachers emphasize is tracing, great for learning pen control and pre-writing. How to make that fun in the summertime? Use the sun!

Set a large piece of poster board or craft paper in a sunny spot, and arrange your child’s toys on the paper. For beginning tracers, keep shapes simple.  Building blocks are great, in rectangles, squares, and triangles. Older kids might enjoy the challenge of tracing around complicated objects, like animal figures, cars, or dinosaurs.

Trace (1)

Encourage your child to follow the lines of shadow that the sun casts on the paper. This was tricky for Travis and he didn’t have the patience for it that I hoped on this particular morning, but we got in a little practice!

Trace (3)

If your kids are into it, try coming back to the activity over the course of the day; the shadows will shift (shortest at noon), which is a neat little lesson on the Earth’s rotation.


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