February 01, 2014

Teaching Toddlers: Tracing

Sweet pea is always bringing home a worksheet where she traced something (her name, letters, numbers, lines or shapes).  And she seems to enjoy tracing because now in her coloring books, she will trace the outside of the objects before coloring them in!  Naturally (for me at least), I wanted to create some of my own tracing worksheets for her to utilize at home.

Step 1 is adding a "tracing" font to your computer.  I own a Mac and I am by no means a Mac expert.  In fact, when it comes to stuff like this, I would 100% prefer my PC.  However, I love the Mac for other things, so it is a trade-off I guess =)

Adding a Downloaded Font to Word (Mac Version)

You will have to Google the exact font, but to create the traceable letters, I downloaded the "KG Primary Dots" font.  I am certain there are easier (and probably correct) ways to download fonts to your computer, but the following steps worked for me.

Step 1:  Find your desired font and download it.  This font was free!

Step 2: After your file downloads, open the .trf file you wish added to your font listing.

Step 3: The pop-up window titled "Font Book" will appear with a button titled "Install Font".  Click it.

Step 4: The pop-up window shown below will appear.  You will click the "KG Primary Dots" link (highlighted in grey) and drag it over to the font folder (highlighted in blue).

Step 5: Close everything and restart computer.  Yes, I am pretty sure this step is not necessary for people who naturally know how to install a font, but this is what I had to do.  Once I restarted my computer and opened Word, the font was available to me.

Creating Tracing Worksheets

After the download of your tracing font, you can create all kind of fun worksheets for you toddler or preschooler to use.  On this example, I used the font size of 100.  If you are using the "KG Primary Dots" font, then you should pair it with the "Century Gothic" font.  Both fonts type the lower case 'a' in the same manner. Try it out and you will see what I mean.

For structure, I like using a table to keep my letters and numbers lined up.  I also left the last row blank for her to practice writing letters without the aid of the dotted lines.

In addition to worksheets for learning to trace letters, you can use the font to have your kiddo practice writing their name, numbers or even words.  My Sweet pea absolutely loves tracing everything, so be creative and let them have fun while they learn!  It is very rewarding to see our little ones put effort into learning something new and then succeeding!!!

For more worksheets for toddlers refer to an older post "Teaching Toddlers Shapes, Letters and Numbers" for other worksheet ideas.

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