My kids adore drawing, and my four-year-old especially enjoys tracing so when I saw this Magic Tracer by ALEX Toys, I knew I wanted to see what they would do with the challenge of tracing a reflected image. The Magic Tracer is very nifty – the plastic piece in the middle reflects the image from one side onto the other, and then you can trace it – like this:
See how it’s a mirror image? Tracing this way is much more challenging than tracing with tracing paper, because your hand blocks part of the reflection. The picture above was Johnny’s first attempt – he then moved to partial tracing:
And on to completely unrelated images. The Magic Tracer fits perfectly in my bag, and holds paper and pencils, so we’ve pulled it out several times since I took these pictures (at the end of October), and each time he does the same thing – traces quite accurately at first, and then moves on to more abstract art.
The Magic Tracer is recommended for ages five and up, so Johnny is a bit young. I think he will enjoy it more and more as he gets better at tracing the reflected image. Three-year-old Lily doesn’t grasp the concept of tracing the reflection at all, but she LOVES using the Magic Tracer for parallel drawing with Johnny:
Lily also uses this as an ordinary drawing case. It holds several small sheets of paper and writing utensils beautifully, and I love that it keeps everything neat and tidy in my bag.
Have you ever tried tracing a reflected image? When I was a high school student, we used an overhead projector to project an image onto piece of set, and then we had to trace the image to create a tropical forest backdrop. It was a very similar process – your own shadow would block part of the image, so you were really seeing what you about to trace, rather than what you were actually tracing. I found it challenging, but fun – and that seems to be my kids’ reaction to this toy! I love that the challenge also encourages them to start tracing, but then move on in their own creative direction – so Johnny will copy part of a monster, but then finish it based off of his own imagination, instead of the original image.
Do your kids have a toy that they use in a different way from how it was intended but that is a lot of fun – like how Johnny and Lily parallel draw with this toy?
I was given this toy as a blogger for ALEX Toys. All opinions are my own, and I only write about products that I think would interest my readers.