Maggie Houston May 7, 2021 Dot to Dot
Do not correct your childs first attempt at drawing a person. Give them freedom to explore the visual and tactile experience without your input. Preliminarily, he or she may only draw a couple of lines.Give a lot of praise. Too much interference by you will hurt creativity and confidence. Their person may have only eyes, a dot for the nose and a straight line for the mouth within the circle. You may prompt by saying, "Where are your eyes?" Prompt with the other parts of the body. Cut around the drawing, and hang it up for everyone to see and give your child a hug and praise. Soon, your child will draw himself or herself, and then other people in the family. This is a big day! It is better to buy a blank drawing pad than a coloring book. They will learn to control their hand and fingers to hold the crayon and they can try to color their drawings as they draw, and have more control when they are about five years old. Let them scribble until you see they want to go on to another task. Keep the time short.
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.
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The event is inspiring creativity in the classroom worldwide: many teachers are reading Reynolds book aloud to their class, while some have been giving out certificates and dot candy as prizes. Elementary teacher Melissa Black is having her fourth graders use Pointillism (working with primary and secondary colors) and tiny dots to make paintings. She had her younger students start their artwork by gluing a paper dot of any size and color onto a piece of paper and learning to use the dot as a part of a bigger picture. Music teacher Judy Holloway is "Making Music with Dots" in her classes. She planned to use the notion of "sound dots" to relay basic lessons about rhythmic and melodic dictation while making the lessons fun and easy for her young students. "Third graders made colorful rhythmic patters and second grade wrote Do Re Mi on staff paper," Holloway wrote. "First grade will take colored markers and respond to music that is staccato (dots!) and legato by drawing designs on the whiteboard." Other teachers are having their students dot the equator and prime meridian on a map while they learn about latitude, longitude and other map skills. Some math teachers are using brightly colored dots in their lessons on arrays. In the computer lab, students are using Paint for Windows to discover where their dot takes them. Teachers are also sharing their plans with other teachers on the web; some are using Skype in the classroom and others are posting their ideas to the International Dot Day Facebook page.
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.
Highly portable, dot to dots, like coloring pages, are great for travel. Theyll keep kids busy and guessing for a fair amount of time. Be sure to provide a good pencil and plenty of crayons. Dot to dots are such a proven favorite that there are now versions available for adults as well as online dot-to-dot activities. The Internet makes it especially handy to instantly download and print dot-to-dot puzzles, often for free. Whether youre just looking for a fun activity or youre looking for ways to build fine motor skills (where the small muscle movements work in coordination with the eyes), its easy to "connect the dots" and see why dot to dot puzzles and activities are a great choice for home or school.