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Elf Yourself – Holiday Body Tracing Art for Kids

Remember having someone trace the outline of your body on a sheet of butcher paper as a kid? Super fun right? Well, I came up with a Christmas version that is perfect for the holidays. This body tracing activity allows kids to transform themselves into an elf! #sofun

A little girl holds up a life sized drawing of herself as an elf, drawn on butcher paper while playing the Elf Yourself craft game.

The holidays are here and the kids are all about Christmas craft projects in my house.

It seems like everyday we are drawing, painting or building some sort of holiday project. 

Most of the time, we work on them together but if I am completely honest I love when my kids work on an art project and can keep themselves busy for a bit.

This gives me time to cross some items off my to-do list, which is super helpful, especially around the holidays.

My kids and I started this body tracing craft together and I let them finish on their own.

Working on the “elf-portraits” kept them busy for over an hour while I went into the kitchen to cook dinner and do some online shopping.

Air high-five on the mom win!

Elf Yourself Art Activity

A large kids drawing of an elf on brown paper. This fun Elf Yourself game is a great Christmas art craft for kids.

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For this fun Christmas-themed body tracing art activity, your kiddos will start with an outline of their body and turn it into an elf version of themselves.

To get started, you need a sheet of paper large enough for your child to lay down on.

I keep a roll of this paper on hand at all times. It is wonderful for art projects, covering the table for painting and even wrapping presents.

Since I was leaving my children to complete this project on their own, I also wanted it to be somewhat mess-free.

For that reason, I gave the kiddos these solid tempera paint sticks to use.

They don’t require brushes, water and they can’t be spilled! They also dry super fast so there’s no smearing or dripping like with traditional kids paints.

Step 1 – Trace Outline of Body on Paper

Tracing an outline of a hand on brown paper for a fun Elf Yourself kids art activity.

This step is super simple.

I suggest using a pencil and not a marker (I have seen some ruined clothes in my day).

I also recommend “bubble tracing,” which means that you don’t touch the skin as you trace; just move the pencil line half an inch away.

This creates a slightly larger surface for coloring and adds a cartoonish quality to the end result.

Step 2 – Decorate

This is the fun part!

My kids had so much fun deciding what their “elf outfits” were going to look like.

A little girl coloring in the large Elf Yourself outline, drawing a festive Christmas elf on a long sheet of brown paper.

Choosing the colors and patterns were so much fun – I just love watching them come up with their own ideas!

A little girl draws bright red pants on her life-size Elf Yourself drawing; a body outline painted to look like a Christmas elf.

The solid paint sticks made it so easy to draw some fun details.

Let them get creative and use their imaginations to create the elf version of themselves.

The completed Elf Yourself drawing! A kid-sized body outline painted to look like an elf, wearing a green shirt, red pants, and a santa hat.

At the end we used painters tape to hang them on the walls of their rooms for some DIY Christmas Decor.

A little girl stands proudly showing off her Elf Yourself drawing - a large life-sized Christmas elf drawn from her body outline.

This was such a fun and easy project! If you are looking for a simple Christmas art project to do with your kiddos, definitely give this one a go!

Here are a few more fun Christmas activities for kids:

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