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Trace and Decorate

This is a great way for children to build self-esteem and develop their language as they explore one self.

Let's Trace and Decorate our Bodies!

This is great way for children to gain better self awareness, self esteem and understanding of their bodies. Children will trace their bodies as best as they can. Once they are finished they will create a head to toe masterpiece of themselves. There is no need to go out and buy supplies. Just use old fabric scraps, torn up magazines, feathers, string or options for hair.  Using different materials children will use their creativity and will For older children: Body tracing is a wonderful way to have children work collaboratively.  They learn to read body and facial cues as they move closer and further away from a friend or classmate as they trace. They also use a lot of language as the navigate the space between them.  


For this developmental activity you will need:

Paper large enough for a child to lay down on to be traced

Crayons, makers and or paint


Collage materials

Yarn for hair

Learning Outcomes


Cognitive, Emotional, Physical, Language


Visual Arts, Self Awareness and Self Concept, Trust and Relationships, Culture, Family and Community, Fine Motor Skills


Children will build self-esteem and develop language as they explore self.


Step 1:

Invite the children to lay down on the paper and trace around the shape of their body.

Step 2:

Ask the children to use the art materials to decorate their body outlines with physical traits.

Step 3:

As the children create, open a discussion about our bodies and talk about differences and similarities between all of us.

Step 4:

Observe the children’s interactions and discussions as they create themselves.

As an extension to the discussion, bring out a mirror so children can look at themselves as they reflect on the features they would like to add to their self-portraits!

Activity Author

Photo of Nina-Marie Mariconda
Nina-Marie Mariconda| Registered Early Childhood Educator

Nina-Marie Mariconda is the owner and operator of Cloud 9 Child Care. When she was expecting her first born she wanted to know more about Child Development and how to positively shape the leaders of tomorrow. She has been a RECE and practicing in the field for almost 7 years and she enjoys every aspect that comes with it. Her career makes life fun!

Playful Questions

What materials will you choose for your face and for your hair? What materials will you use for your body and your clothes?

You have X on your shirt today.  How will you show that on your body tracing?

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