Della Carpenter May 4, 2021 Dot to Dot
Everyone is an artist, and drawing is a universal precursor to writing. It is very easy to introduce your little artist to the world of graphic arts, writing a story, and early literacy, by early drawing. A self-portrait is one of the first drawings. First- Buy a large 12x24 or larger, newsprint drawing pad. You can also buy a craft paper roll and cut it to size. Also, purchase a set of wide (fat) pre-school crayons. The small regular crayons will not be easy to use for a toddler, since the small muscles in the hand are developing. You should work in a large format with a child. Place a hand held mirror nearby for reference. Second- Sit down on the floor with your child, and have him or her choose a color, and place the large (fat) crayon in his or her hand. Help your child hold the crayon like a pencil. If they have trouble, then they can hold it in their fist.
Of course you want a dot-com extension. Everyone does. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make choosing a domain name is picking one that is difficult to scan and impossible to pronounce. By "difficult to scan" I mean a word or phrase that bares so little resemblance to a real word or phrase that it is resistant to mental retention and you forget it the moment you hear it. An example might be when two or three common English words are severed and reconnected into one impossible mishmash as in "landarchass," a shortened version of a business name that a fictional businessman might choose instead of "landscaping architects and associates" (by the way, if youre interested, this name is still available as a dot-com; I didnt dare use a real name).
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
Are you a parent interested in helping your child build on their drawing talent? You may have even been surfing the net looking for step-by-step projects they will enjoy. Once you find a project, then what? How do you present that information for your child to draw? YouTube offers many great drawing ideas with step-by-step instructions. Once you have found an artist that offers an instructional drawing video that you find fun and easy, do the project first yourself. Once you have your head around the basic principles, then you can prepare to pass this lesson on to your children. Show the children the completed project first. Next, take your students through each step of the lesson. You draw each element of shape, or line, first and have the children copy what you do. Take your time to ensure every child has completed each instruction before moving on. With very young children you may need to take them through each step with dot-to-dot. This way they will not feel discouraged at not meeting the level of the older students work.
This Saturday marked the fifth annual International Dot Day, a day dedicated to encouraging students creativity and inspiring confidence. Classrooms around the globe have been celebrating this and last week with unique activities such as dot art, musical "sound dots," and using dots to help teach maps and math. Dot Day was started by teacher Terry Shay in Waterloo, Iowa, to celebrate the publication of Peter H. Reynolds childrens book "The Dot"; the book shares the story of a young girl named Vashti who is encouraged by her teacher to "make her mark." In the story, Vashti tries to prove to her teacher that she cannot draw by making a small mark on the paper while declaring, "There!"-Vashtis art teacher then encourages her to be brave and use her imagination to see where this dot could take her.
The great part about mindful drawing is that it is not just for kids! In fact, my wife is a Certified Zentangle Teacher and regularly sees the amazing benefits in adults who practice this form of mindful drawing. Just like meditation, mindfulness with a pen can also reduce blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and have long-term benefits with depression and anxiety. Have you ever found yourself just doodling on a scrap piece of paper. There is a good chance that when you are making lines or dots or shading with your pen or pencil, you are focused on present moment. Perhaps if the idea of meditation seems to be not your cup of tea but you could use to manage your stress; why not consider mindful drawing, doodling, or zentangle. The goal is not to make art to hang on your fridge but rather to give your restless mind a much need break from the endless chatter.