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Tracing Paper - My Favorite Childhood "Toy"

Updated on December 24, 2014

Tracing Paper and a Comic Book can occupy a child for hours!

Give a child some tracing paper, a pencil, crayons and a comic book and they will be occupied for hours!

When I was in my single digit years I traced Archie, Brenda Starr, Snoopy and Wonder Woman. Remember them?

That tracing paper made me think I was an artist. I would trace a character and color it any way I wanted. If I wanted to change what outfit Betty or Veronica was wearing, I could. Hey, I thought I was a fashion designer! I could even put difference characters from different comics talking to each other.

Wow, I was a cartoonist!

The Snoopy on his doghouse cartoon shown here is ideal to trace. It has simple lines and he a popular character that children (and adults) will recognize. The cartoon is also simple to color for the same reason--it is not complicated. Even the youngest child can be creative with that simple drawing.

(You can Buy Snoopy at Allposters if you like.)

When I taught kindergarten, my students just loved to trace the front of their favorite cereal box. I let them bring in the box front and I would show them how to put it on a clipboard with a piece of tracing paper and hand them a pencil. And away they would go!

Tracing is a great way to develop fine motor skills in children.

"What is tracing paper?' you ask. It is a semitransparent paper that you can place on top of an image. One can see the image through the paper. You can then take a pen or pencil and copy the outline of the picture. Tissue paper is semi-transparent, but it is too thin for a small child (or a heavy handed grownup) to use to draw on.

Learn to Use Tracing Paper: - Inspiring kids to draw and be creative!

The websites below will assist you in learning all about tracing paper. Go visit them and find a new hobby for yourself or for your children. The web is such a good source for tutorials. I really hope you will take advantage of all the information that is available.

A Helpful Tracing Vocabulary:

Use a wide range of vocabulary when using tracing paper. Grow your vocabulary!






Tracing supplies on Amazon: - If you order over $25, the shipping is sometimes free.

Tracing paper is a great tool to teach kids to draw. Crayola Disney Coloring Pages is a great source for finding cartoon that children would adore tracing. I, personally, think that buying a tablet form of tracing paper would be good for children. If you print a letter sized black and with cartoon coloring page, all a child has to do is instert the sheet under the tracing paper in the tablet. No tape involved and the tablet supplies the smooth surface for tracing.

Buy a roll of tracing paper to use on this easel. - A childhood favorite toy!

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel - Dry-Erase Board, Chalkboard, Paper Roller, Standard Packaging
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel - Dry-Erase Board, Chalkboard, Paper Roller, Standard Packaging

You could tape a simple picture or poster on the easel.

This makes tracing easy for small children. Remember, this develops the small motor skills needed for handwriting!


Tracing Paper Pads are ideal for portable art projects:

Faber-Castell Tracing Paper Pad - 40 Sheets (9 x 12 inches)
Faber-Castell Tracing Paper Pad - 40 Sheets (9 x 12 inches)

Just insert the letter sized black and white printed cartoon under a sheet of tracing paper. The pad supplies the smooth surface to for you or your child to draw upon.

If you have a clipboard, you could even take the pads and black and white coloring sheets in the car. Yes, this is not an iPad, but at least paper cannot break!


Tracing paper on a roll:

Use Tracing Paper that comes on a roll: - Tips for using tracing paper in art projects!

The artist in the above video relates some wonderful information about tracing paper. She likes to purchase tracing paper on rolls for quite a few reasons: she saves on waste, it can come in different colors. The texture and quality of the paper on rolls can also be varied.

Watch and learn about how, why and when to use tracing paper in your craft projects.

My First Book Of Tracing (Kumon Workbooks)
My First Book Of Tracing (Kumon Workbooks)

Drawing is FUN! Teaching kids drawing skills is rewarding for you and them.


A Child's First Tracing Projects:

In addition to improving eye/hand coordination, you can use this book to teach a child the names of the shapes. Ideal book for the very young child to learn the art of tracing and coloring.

Uses for tracing paper:

How do you use tracing paper in your life?

See results

Of course you need excellent pencils!

Crayola 68-4012 Colored Pencils, 12-Count, Pack of 1, Assorted Colors
Crayola 68-4012 Colored Pencils, 12-Count, Pack of 1, Assorted Colors

I have discovered that the "name brand" colored pencils are the best. Yes, you can go to a "dollar" store, but the quality of the art supplies is not always good. The results a person gets when using quality products will encourage a budding artist to create more and more works of art.


Tracing Paper - have you ever used it? Please sign in and let me know you were here. Tell us about your "tracing" experiences. Remember carbon paper? Thanks!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fun activity as a child.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh man, carbon paper, that takes me back. For some reason my 6th grade teacher made us use it for all the papers we wrote. Argh! Proper tracing paper is cool though. :)

    • Dimplefree profile image


      6 years ago

      I still use tracing paper for transferring designs, and carbon paper too sometimes.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Drawing, even coloring, can be very relaxing adult activities. Great ideas!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I had forgotten about how much I used tracing paper as a kid and in college. It's amazing the things you can put together and create. I need to get some soon.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed using tracing paper when I was a kid - in fact, that's the way I started drawing and went on to develop painting as a hobby. Yea, I remember carbon paper too. Your lens took me back to the good old days being just a kid. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I used it a LOT, and I definitely think it helped learn how to draw better, freestyle.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      yes is o some but i use the sticker paper is nice and both paper is working is the good for watercolour as well

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      I totally agree...what a great subject! well done lens...5*...and a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, this is a fun lens! Tracing paper, paints, crayons, scissors, magic markers, all craft stuff like that just warms me up. ...Yes, I do remember carbon paper. That was fun, too!

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      9 years ago from Quezon City

      What a fun lens! I use tracing paper a lot in my work, Mickie! It's useful in transferring a line drawing I've made onto somewhere else. I trace over the original drawing on tracing paper using a pen, I will then run a charcoal pencil over the lines on the reverse of the paper, and then I will place the tracing paper over another surface and trace over the original line drawing so that it gets smudged into the new surface. Cool trick, huh? (: *Blessed*

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      I actually came here through Squidoo Cool...the thread on leaving comments on lenses. Tracing paper is a great toy - I hadn't thought of that although when my kids were young they loved it, too. I'm going to buy some for my grandchildren! Yep, I remember carbon paper, too.

    • verymary profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago area

      I traced everything as a kid! Coloring the traced drawings in was the payoff. One of my 10 y.o.s just did some artwork w/tracing paper that amazed his friends. 5* and rolling this to Stocking Stuffers for Artistic Kids

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 

      9 years ago

      Great job on this. Congrats on Graduating Rocketmoms. Blessed By a Squid Angel

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh yes, tracing paper and silly putty -- that would define me! And then I grew up and it was carbon paper and white-out!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I used to trace Thelwell pony cartoons using my gran's greaseproof paper.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I used to love tracing things as a kids. This brings back memories.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      9 years ago from West Virginia

      Tracing is a fun way to learn how to draw.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 

      9 years ago

      I used to love the coloring books that also had tracing paper in them.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      9 years ago

      What a neat idea!

      Thanks for sharing.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Tracing paper used to keep me occupied for hours when I was a child.

      Brings back memories, nice lens !

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great lens - I remember spending hours, when I was a little boy, with tracing paper. I think that's how I got interested in drawing and art. It used to be one of my hobbies when I was younger. This a simple, yet effective way to teach children to draw and eventually color and paint! Congratulations on your featured lens award!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 

      9 years ago

      I remember having Tracing Paper as a child. I liked tracing anything with animals on it. Great lens!

    • SherryHolderHunt profile image


      9 years ago

      Tracing is a tool in the process of learning to draw. Rolling this lens to my EZ Doodle lens. 5*s

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Gee 

      9 years ago

      [in reply to GonnaFly] I only wish! I guess I missed out on the "drawing" gene. I am at my best when tracing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I used tracing paper to draw cartoons - mickey mouse and donald duck, when I was a kid.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      I loved tracing paper. I would like to know if you are a good artist now after all that tracing?

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have always kept Tracing Paper on hand and it always gets used for some project. Great idea for this lens and super lens.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 

      9 years ago

      It's been a long time since I used tracing paper, though just like you did, I remember thinking I was an artist after successfully tracing those pictures. Wonderful lens, and I love the tracing paper how-tos, including the one from deviant art.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh my!! ... tracing paper! Yes, yes YES ... absolutely loved it and had forgotten all about it!

      Thank you for this fab lens, Mickie - I'm going to feature it on my own :))

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Love tracing paper!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      Forgot about this all together! Thanks for reminding me! This is another thing I can share with my daughter... in few years! :)

    • seashell2 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens, I used tracing paper to trace patterns that I would cut out with my scroll saw! Haven't used that in a long time! Nice job!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      9 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I too loved using tracing paper when I was young. Great memory, thanks!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I like to trace, I don't remember the last time I did it but it is so much fun! It does make you feel like an artist :) Great lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love tracing paper!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great lens, I still think its fun to trace...and sitting down with a coloring book or to color a traced picture is fun at any age:-)

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      9 years ago

      Wow! I had forgotten how much fun I used to have doing this! This is wonderful!

    • hlkljgk profile image


      9 years ago from Western Mass

      oh yeah - tracing paper was pretty fun.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      Wow1 I used to love playing with tracing paper too! Thanks for the memories!


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