Tracing Without Waste

I just read this post, Pre-Writing Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, by Angela at MOMtessori Life (great blog to follow!), and I want to share our family’s favorite method of tracing!

When I first started “schooling” my oldest child, I wasn’t the most wise in my methods.  I was printing off stuff like this.



This could be useful if you needed to occupy a dozen kids.  But one?

My eyes are rolling so hard at my past self.

MOMtessori Life knows what’s up.  Get a piece of paper.  Draw a line.  Boom.  Done.

But wait!  I’ve discovered another option that provides the same skill practice without sheets of paper mounding up.

Enter…The Dry Erase Marker.  Mini onesskinny oneseven SKINNIER onesbold ones, washable onescrayon ones, or even wet erase markers for the Littles prone to smudging or for the lefties.

And while dry erase boards are awesome and have their uses, there is another, even better, even cheaper option that you may not know about.

Report covers and sheet protectors.

Like these report covers or these page protectors from Avery.  I found a pack of ten report covers at WalMart for less than a dollar.

You’re welcome.

Some report covers come with a sliding bar to close the edge, others have a locking tab if you want to get fancy. Taping two of the open sides while leaving one side open to slip pages into is my preferred option.  Hellooooo, pretty washi tape!  Page protectors on the other hand, only have one open end so they require no closure.  But I’ve found that report covers are a bit sturdier.

How to use them?

Draw or write your to-be-traced stuff onto a sheet of paper, insert that sheet into the sleeve you’ve made, hand the kid a marker, and TADA!  Let the no-waste tracing begin. If you’re not into tracing, you can insert a blank sheet, a lined handwriting sheet, a page of math problems, a game blank.  Or leave one of the long sides open and slip one of these sleeves right onto a page inside of a workbook.  It’s endless.


Insert and remove easily.

You can be even more less-waste by finding and upcycling plastic film sheets from other items you may have at home.  Some recipe books come with splatter pages that would work.  Maybe you bought a packaged toy item with a clear window film.  Trim that baby out and use it for good! Clear vinyl would also work.  You could even use an old picture frame and glass if you like to live dangerously.


Easy peasy.


Happy Wednesday, y’all!



2 thoughts on “Tracing Without Waste

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