Body Tracing Craft

by Larry Davis
Trace and cut out figures of children for projects and displays.

Trace and cut out figures of children for projects and displays.

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Provide a variety of body tracing crafts for your children or students. Preschoolers through older grades can participate in this kid-involved type of project. Use body tracing for motor skills practice with younger children, science and reading activities for older ones, and creative projects for all ages. Use kids' outlines for inexpensive paper crafts or for outdoor activities.

Head to Toe

Use those straight up-and-down traced pictures of children in various ways. Have a child lie face up on plain paper. Trace around the outline of the child. Let the children cut out their own figures. Younger children can draw facial features and color some clothing onto their outlines for a wall display. All children can write important things about themselves, like their favorite foods, toys, books and classroom subjects. Reading-aged children can color their outline to look like a favorite character in a book and attach a written book report to the outline for a reading display. All children can write or draw about what they want to be when they grow up. Children can also draw different faces to tape to their outline each day to demonstrate how they feel, such as happy, sad, tired or excited about a school event.

Action Figures

Provide extra-wide paper for this body tracing idea. Have the children lie in an active pose, such as doing a cartwheel, standing on their head, holding a baseball bat, swimming or pretending to be in the middle of a high jump on a trampoline. Since they are lying on the floor, it won't be too difficult to hold a pose while someone traces them. Have the children color their shapes and add pictures of accessories like a trampoline surface or ball cap and glove. Let the children choose whether to cut out their figures or hang the entire paper, intact, on the wall.


Make silhouettes of the children. Tape light-colored paper onto a wall at a level that is comfortable for the child to sit, stand or pose. Place a light, such as an overhead projector light, just beyond the child to create a shadow on the wall. Have the child pose sideways if you wish to capture the shape of her face and hair. Trace and cut out the silhouette. Trace the silhouette onto black paper and cut around the shape. Glue the dark silhouettes onto construction paper or scrapbook printed papers for a picture to frame.

Body Parts

Have the children create a put-together craft. They can trace their handprints and wrist-to-elbow prints or whole-arm prints on colored paper. They can also trace feet and legs together or separately. Other body part ideas are the shoulder-to-hip portion, or shoulder, chest and hips separately. Consider using a variety of bright colors for the parts. Have the children cut out the body parts and glue them onto a piece of paper. For an alternative, laminate the cut-out pieces and laminate them. Have the children use paper fasteners to assemble their bodies. Older children can draw bones with white crayons or inside organs with colored crayons for a science or health project.

About the Author

Larry Davis has worked in the safety and environmental field since 1975, writing for "Chevron Review" and other professional magazines. He wrote monthly columns for "Heavy Equipment News" and has written safety programs and training materials. He holds two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree in safety and earned his doctorate in safety engineering, studying under professors from the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images