Augusta Golden May 4, 2021 Dot to Dot
Dot to dot puzzles, a classic activity many of us remember from our own childhood, is still a favorite of teachers and parents hoping to encourage kids to work on their counting and small motor skills. And, of course, the kids love them, too. The development of fine motor skills is important for academic success, and working dot-to-dots puzzles gives children a chance to practice gripping a pencil correctly and understand how numbers work in sequence. Besides being a fun process, dot to dots offer a reward in the form a completed picture that can be colored in and displayed. Dot to dots may be worked in pencil, with crayon or even pen. But when working dot to dots, as in life, mistakes can happen, so using a pencil with an eraser can avoid frustration, especially with the littlest kids, or junior perfectionists.
Round Stickers You can buy round stickers in various sizes easily and cheaply from stationers and they can be used to create lovely pottery with white spots on a coloured background. All you need to do is stick your round stickers all over the surface your dry and clean bisque (unpainted, unglazed pottery) in a random pattern. Rub the stickers to make sure they are securely attached to the pottery. Then paint all the surface area in your chosen colour, this can be done with a paintbrush or sponge. To get a nice solid even colour at least two coats of ceramic paint are recommended. Once the paint is completely dry peel off the stickers and your pottery is ready for glazing and firing. If you cant get manage to lift the stickers at the edge a good tip is to take a pin and stick it in the sticker and lift.
Next you will need something to draw with. I like to use a variety of drawing pencils. They are labeled with numbers and letters, like 2H, 2B, 4B, etc. I prefer to use 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils. The larger the number, the softer the graphite. You can get darker blacks with a 6B pencil. Get a few different ones to start with, and over time, youll see which you prefer. The H stands for "hard," and the B stands for "black." You will need erasers to clean up unwanted lines. I use two types. One is a kneaded eraser, which is a gray block. To use it, you pinch it like play dough, to any shape you want, then erase with it. Its perfect when you want to erase just one dot or skinny line of color.
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.
Since its humble beginnings seven years ago, Dot To Dot Festival has gone from strength to strength and has served up sets from bands that have gone on to see incredible success. In the past, this has meant shows from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine and The XX - but this month it focused back on some lesser-known acts hoping to break through in the same way. Taking place across three cities - Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester - the event has a pretty ambitious mission statement. In Manchester alone, it uses seven different stages at venues like The Ritz, Sound Control, The Deaf Institute, Zoo and Joshua Brooks, but while this is probably something of a challenge for the organisers in terms of business liability insurance, the backing of sponsors Fred Perry probably provides some small comfort.
After first introducing children to dot to dots, you may want to offer a little supervision. Encourage kids to seek out the next number in the sequence. Its best to draw a straight, even line from one dot to the other, and dont forget to connect that final dot or the image wont be complete! At the same time, dont insist that everything be "just so." Kids need to be able to experiment and be creative, even if it means coloring outside the lines. Dot to dots have many variations, and some are worked using letter sequences alphabetically rather than numbers while some spell words. The skill level needed ranges from preschool-age on up. Sometimes, its immediately obvious what the picture is, while other designs will keep you guessing almost until the final line is drawn.