Jo Jacks Travel

Vitruvian Man Activity – Da Vinci For Kids: Part 1

 Enjoy this Vitruvian Man Activity for kids to learn about the famous drawing, shapes, measurements, and proportions.

Inspiration – Family Trip to France

We were so inspired by the inventions and art of Leonardo da Vinci during our recent visit the the Clos de Luce chateau in France. As an artist, inventor, scientist, and mathematician he is the epitome of a Renaissance Man. Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing is the ultimate symbol of his many interests, as it combines art, philosophy, and mathematics.
Vitruvian Man Activity        Vitruvian Man Activity
In our modern age, studying his life reminds us that whole brain development is critical to creativity. Children need to experience art, music and nature to also be gifted in science, mathematics and engineering. This Vitruvian Man Activity is a great way to foster your child’s creativity too!
Vitruvian Man Activity for Kids

Vitruvian Man Activity For Kids

Let’s Take  A Look
First the children and I looked at Leonardo a Vinci’s famous drawing “Vitruvian Man” and talked about what we saw. “A naked man!” “A circle.” “A square.” “Writing.” “Numbers.” “He has 4 arms and 4 legs!”
virtuvian man da vinci
Now for some questions:
  • How are the circle and square similar? – They both outline the fingertips to toes shape of man.
  • How are the width of the arms and height of man similar or different? Discuss portions. Notice how a perfect circle and perfect square are made in this drawing with a center in the man’s groin area.
  • Do you think your body is proportionate? Let’s find out!

Learning Activity – da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man

1. Take two photographs of your child standing like Vitruvian Man  – having him or her first stand with feet together and arms out straight, and then in the “star position” – feet apart and arms up slightly. The challenging part for the adult is trying to take the photo from the exact same spot both times so the child’s size in the photo is the same.  I gave my photos a sepia filter to have them look more like da Vinci’s old parchment paper drawings.

Virtuvian Man Activity for KidsVirtuvian Man Activity for Kids

2. Print out photos – 2 per child. Cut out one of the bodies and place it directly above the other.

Virtuvian Man Activity for KidsVirtuvian Man Activity for Kids

3. Have your child use a ruler to draw lines along all 4 sides of the man. Have your child measure two of the sides (length and width) and write down the measurement. Have you made a square or rectangle? 

Virtuvian Man Activity for Kids

Use a ruler to draw and measure straight lines.

4.  Using a compass, or a pencil tied to a string and tack, try drawing a circle around the the star shaped body.  Where is the middle point on the body?  Can it be done?  Do you have a circle or oval? 

Virtuvian Man Activity for Kids

Draw a circle around the body – see our set-up as we don’t own a compass.

We were not able to make perfect squares and circles – and that is okay!  This learning activity was to think about body proportions and do experimentation and critical thinking.
Virtuvian Man Activity for Kids
Next for the Vitruvian Man Activity, you could have your children see if their dolls and superheroes are proportionate. Have them draw and outline on paper and do the circle and square activity again.

Here are some other learning resources related to Vitruvian Man:

Children’s Books on da Vinci:


This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.  No extra cost to you, but it helps us travel, craft, and blog.

What other activities have your done with children to learn about Leonardo da Vinci? I would love to hear in the comments.
 Love this Leonardo Da Vinci Learning Series? Check out Part 2: Man Can Fly! (Coming Soon!)