International Dot Day is a celebration of creativity inspired by The Dot written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. It is a day to think about ways in which we can use our special talents to make the world a better place.
What began as a simple story in a picture book has become so much more. As more and more teachers celebrate International Dot Day with their students, entire classrooms are being transformed as children and teachers alike rediscover the power of creativity in the learning process.
What is process art for kids?
Process ART is a contemporary artistic movement recognized within the world’s art communities. The Guggenheim states “process art emphasizes the ‘process’ of making art”. The MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) points out that “in process art, the means count for more than the ends.”
These definitions apply directly to process art for children!
Process art is all about the experience the children have while they’re creating. If it has a nice end product, that’s great, but the end product isn’t the focus of process art. Ask yourself the questions below if you’re unsure. If the answer to either is “YES!” then it is not a process art activity.
- “Will I be upset if the end result doesn’t look a specific way?”
- “Do I have a preconceived notion about what the end result ‘should’ look like?”
Teacher Reflection: How do you dream of “making your mark” in the world. Whats one small way you can start working on it now?
One other aspect of International Dot Day that has helped it spread across the globe is the interactive, collaborative nature of celebrations. Teachers are encouraged to document and share their International Dot Day celebrations via blogs and social media. In this way, other teachers can be inspired to participate in new and exciting ways in the future.
Some Ideas that can be easily applied to childcare:
Wonderful opportunity for parental engagement on DOT DAY!
Encourage children’s creativity through developmentally appropriate art experiences
Tips for leading process-focused art
1. Approach art like open-ended play—for example, provide a variety of materials and see what happens as the child leads the art experience
2. Make art a joyful experience. Let children use more paint, more colors, and make more and more artwork
3. Provide plenty of time for children to carry out their plans and explorations
4. Let children come and go from their art at will
5. Notice and comment on what you see: Look at all the yellow dots you painted
6. Say YES to children’s ideas
7. Offer new and interesting materials
8. Play music in the background
9. Take art materials outside in the natural light
10. Display children’s books with artful illustrations, such as those by Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, and Javaka Steptoe
11. Let the children choose whether their art goes home or stays in the classroom
12. Remember that it’s the children’s art, not yours
More Than Painting, Preschool and Kindergarten: Exploring the Wonders of Art, by Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus. This book provides many process art activity ideas.
The Creative Arts: A Process Approach for Teachers and Children, by Linda Carol Edwards. A textbook format that provides a foundation for understanding process in art, music, and drama activities with young children.