Tracing Circles

Some of you have mentioned that you’re building up ideas for foul-weather-indoor-play, and I’ve got something for you that requires very little preparation and can be pulled together with materials that we all have on hand.


  • marker/pen/pencil
  • paper
  • tape
  • cups

I taped a sheet of paper to the table and showed N how to trace around a cup. I’m in love with blue painters tape, and can hardly imagine what we’d do without it. I wasn’t sure how this activity would go…would she find it too simple, boring, thrilling, or challenging? Turns out it was a good challenge for her, as she requested cups and markers for more tracing the next day.

And as you can see from her circles, this involves a lot of fancy handiwork, small motor skills, and hand-eye coordination for wrapping the marker all the way around the cup. I think my child is inherently right-handed, and it’s interesting to see her draw with both her right and left hands in order to draw all the way around the cup. Good problem-solving!

If your child enjoys this, a good extension would be tracing cookie cutters, tape rolls, food storage containers, etc. ¬†Even better…ask your child to think of other objects to trace. And if you move away from tracing disposable things, shift from markers to pencils. A good lesson in preservation!

What are your favorite simple rainy day activities?


  1. says

    How fun, she looks like she is really into it too. So much concentration to make sure the circles come out just right. I know my daughter would love it.

  2. says

    Often the simplest ideas are the best. My 2 year old loves to “pour water” lately. I set him up with a few bowls of different color water on a cookie sheet to catch spills and he’s happy for a good 20 – 30 minutes!

    Also, thanks for highlighting the highlighting all the developmental benefits!

    • rachelle says

      This is so true, which is why cooking together is almost always successful with my 2 year old! Today she could have scooped and stirred flour for hours. And thanks for the feedback on the developmental benefits…I should remember to include those more often. Happy new year!


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