Recently we visited the museum to participate in some activities about dinosaurs and megafauna. One of B’s favourite activities was a mix and match dinosaur tracing activity.
The museum had created a sheet of plastic to fit the tabletop and printed it with pictures of parts of dinosaurs – heads, bodies, legs and tails. The children were then given tracing paper to trace the dinosaur parts of their choice to draw a dinosaur. They could create a new dinosaur or put together the parts to draw a dinosaur that really existed.
Since B like this activity so much I decided to create a homemade version. I printed some dinosaur colouring pages and traced them to create choices of dinosaur heads, bodies and tails. B can then trace them to create his dinosaur.
Here are a couple of our creations, mine …
and B’s …
I used colouring pages from First School.ws and Kids Soup (you need a membership for Kids Soup, but a one month free trial is available). Simple line drawings with no shading detail were best for my preschool-age son. I think older children might like using more realistic images.
To make tracing easier it is best to tape the paper down. We use baking paper as an easy to find, cheap tracing paper and you can then use a sheet much larger than the image you are tracing. This helps with fitting the completed dinosaur on the page.
This is a great activity to improve children’s pencil control. It also really gets them thinking about the features of dinosaurs and how those features are important in identifying the dinosaur.
This tracing activity would also be very adaptable to many different interests. You could try mix and match people, sea creatures, dogs, fairies or whatever your child is interested in.
If your child likes this activity you might also want to try
instructions for drawing dinosaurs
or this online version of the mix and match game Scholastic’s Build a Dinosaur.