Angel Blake May 7, 2021 Dot to Dot
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.
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.
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).
When undertaking faces aim to teach one feature at a time; the following tip may prove useful. For example, you are learning how to draw eyes, sketch out the facial outline and other features, leaving the eye area blank; make photocopies of this facial sketch, one for each child. With this basic template the students can draw in their own eyes following your instructions. Then they have a completed work which they can color and decorate. The next lesson you can work on another feature, such as the nose. Simple cartooning is great fun for kids of all ages and a great start. Just be mindful not to select too well-known or favorite characters as this can prove discouraging should the outcome not meet their expectations. Manga characters are quite simple, are basically recognizable but also leave much for individual interpretation.
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.
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.