Kindergarten Worksheets > Fine Motor > Tracing outlines
An ability to control the pencil and move it in deliberate ways is an important precursor to drawing shapes, tracing lines and, ultimately, writing letters and numbers. This ability requires a strong pincer grip and well-developed fine motor skills. The following worksheets will challenge your child to draw an outline around a basic picture by tracing over a dashed line.
The importance of having a strong pencil grip
A strong pencil grip is an essential skill for children to have. It is essential for drawing pictures accurately and legibly writing letters and numbers. In most cases, children need to be taught the correct pencil grip, since many children instinctively hold the pencil with their entire fist.
The correct pencil grip is honed only through repetition, as the more children use the correct grip, the stronger the muscles in their fingers become. Tracing outlines worksheets are a wonderful way to encourage children to practice writing with the correct pencil grip.
Tips for using these tracing outlines worksheets
Begin by showing your child a beginning-level tracing outlines worksheets and ask him to use the index finger on his dominant hand to slowly trace over the dashed line. Once he can easily move his finger around over the dashed line, have him try it again using a pencil or crayon. The beginning-level tracing outlines worksheets feature pictures with smooth edges and long, straight lines to facilitate easy tracing. Remind your child to use the proper pencil grip while tracing around the edge of the picture.
After you child has successfully completed the beginning-level tracing outlines worksheets, you can introduce him to the intermediate-level tracing outlines worksheets. Not only are these pictures more complex, with more twists and turns, but the dashed line is set closer to the edge of the picture, requiring your child to follow more closely along as he traces.
When your child has completed the tracing outlines worksheets one time, you can encourage him to go back over the same worksheets and trace over the line he just wrote for added practice. You could give him a crayon to trace over his initial pencil marking, or you could let him trace over the line using two different colored markers such as yellow and blue, so that when he adds the blue line over the yellow line, he creates a green line.
Extra activities to supplement tracing outlines worksheets
- Give your child an assortment of different shaped plates or glasses and challenge him to trace the perimeter of each item onto a piece of paper using one, fluid line.
- Ask your child to use a giant push pin (found at office supply stores) or the point of an opened paper clip to punch around the border of the picture on this worksheet.
- Play the “Pick-up Sticks” game with your child using toothpicks, chopsticks, or even thin markers. Remind him to use his pointer finger and thumb when trying to pick up the narrow sticks.
- Blow small bubbles using bubble liquid and a small wand. Ask your child to try to pop individual bubbles by pinching them with the pointer finger and thumb of his dominant hand.
- Put a plastic straw in a glass filled with colored water. Show your child how to keep the water in the straw by pinching the straw with his pointer finger and thumb and lifting the straw out of the glass.
- Write large letters, widely spaced apart, on a blank sheet of paper. Then, challenge your child to create “bubble letters” by drawing an outline around each letter.
- After your child finishes a drawing, place a blank sheet of paper over his picture and challenge him trace over his original drawing to create a second, identical picture.
- Ask your child to write in pencil on a paper. Then ask him to turn the pencil around and use the eraser to remove the lines. Show him how he uses the same pencil grip when writing and erasing.
- Cut small pieces of yarn (about an inch long) and scatter them onto the floor. Ask your child to pick up the yarn one piece at a time, using only his index finger and thumb, and place each piece into a bowl.
- Roll modeling clay into narrow logs. Ask your child to hold the log with his non-dominant hand and use the pointer finger and thumb of his dominant hand to pinch off small pieces of dough.