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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Art fundamentals and imaging for kids - one dot at a time

Dot by Patricia Intriago is a perfect example of how graphics are much more than mere physical representation of an object. This book has understated yet spectacular graphics and subtle yet effective and funny text. It is a great way to show little ones how drawings can express motions, emotions and much more and can tell a great story when combined with very few words. Certainly a great lesson in art fundamentals. It will encourage them to get creative with their own imagination once they discover what can be done with just a dot. After all, even a 2 year old knows to draw dots.

Every time I read this book with my son it makes him laugh and brings a lot of joy to me too. Recent readings have led to us doing various drawings using Do-a-Dot art applicator, dot stickers, and shiny dot sequence, etc.

We have been playing with dots for a long time though. My son always likes asking me to draw different things and is amazed by how most of them can be drawn with just a few dots. When he was about two and half or so, I used to put large dot stickers on a paper which he could connect to make horizontal or vertical lines and eventually slanted lines. This gave him the confidence to try drawing various objects around him.
Usually connect the dot puzzles in a kid’s magazine are meant for kids around 5years of age. But if you draw it on larger papers with fewer dots, even a 3 year old can do it. They might need a little help but it is a great practice nonetheless. For other activities using dots check out my Pinterest board.

These activities not only help with art fundamentals but develop ‘imaging’ skills. Imaging is a skill used when one imagines objects and manipulates them in their mind before expressing it to the outside world. It is a precursor to many other fundamental skills. When an interior designer imagines furniture layout or wall colors or a cake decorator comes up with the design for a cake, they use imaging. When a player or coach imagines various game plans or field placements, they are using imaging on the fly.
This practice of connecting the dots and eventually developing the skill to draw lines at different angles has resulted in something surprising in our household. We have never tried to teach our son how to write yet. He is just 3 after all. But one day he was playing by himself while we were doing other chores around the house. He came running to us saying, “Look I wrote like grownups.” We were so proud to see his first word written on a piece of paper, ‘HAN’. It had no meaning but not bad for a 3 year old. Lot of it surely stemmed from this practice of connecting dots and drawing lines. What started out to be a fun activity in art fundamentals has led to successful literacy development for him.

What do you plan to do with a dot?