Elnora Carr May 6, 2021 Dot to Dot
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!
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To get coloured spots on a white background you can use ring binder reinforcement ring stickers. Again these are also readily and cheaply available from stationers. Just stick the reinforcement rings all over your pot, but instead of painting the background carefully paint the hole in the middle of the ring binder stickers and then peel the rings off when the paint is dry before glazing and firing. Stamping your Spots and Dots Instead of using your fingers at a stamp for dots and spots, your could use other round objects by immersing them in paint and dabbing them on your pottery. At craft shops you can buy various sponge tools called dabbers and daubers which also make round spots. Other household items you could use to stamp spots on your pottery are cotton wool buds, the end of your paint brush or the flat end of a pencil. The object does need to be clean and free from grease for starting each colour. With the cotton wool buds it is best to use a new one for each colour.
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.
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.
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.