I love to Double Doodle* with both children and adults, and delight in guiding people to discover their own creative expression. An art project is a wonderful way to learn about exploring choices, and about turning “mistakes” into pleasing serendipities (something we can’t learn too much about!). And the Double Doodle process supports skills of eye-teaming, eye-hand coordination, directionality, and fluid mark-making, while providing a lot of fun!
I find that many holiday images are easy to draw using the Double Doodle process, and don’t take long to make. Here are three that I enjoyed creating for my grandchildren. Most children ages 8 and up can quickly learn to do the first two. They’ll have the most fun if you do it with them and keep it playful, turning any “mistakes” into serendipities (or feeling free to experiment with a few versions till you get the flow).
To make the snowman, fold your paper vertically, then tape the paper down. With a marker in each hand, and with both hands beginning equidistance from the fold mark, use a single downward in-and-out-stroke to fluidly draw the outline of the hat and snowman.** (If you are new to the Double Doodle, you can find a more simple image for beginning and additional instructions here.) Use whatever marker colors attract you. As you can see with the snowman, I used two different colors of blue to show off the Double Doodle effect. Now, with additional colors, make the eyes and mouth, buttons, and stick-arms. Color in the hat and scarf using either one or two hands, as is easy for you. Complete with a broom or shovel, and a background, as you wish.
A simple pine tree shape is easily double-doodled. Above left is a photo of the tree drawing after the first leisurely in-and-out motions, and again below, after adding some circles and curlicues for ornaments, and some icicle squiggles for ornaments.
Finally, here’s a little more complex drawing of an elf, fun for older children. Again, begin with a simple outline. Then color over and fill in as you like. Build from symmetry to asymmetry. I colored in the vest, leggings, and all by turning the page as needed, then placing my markers side-by-side as I colored.
Whatever you choose to Double Doodle, watch how a few minutes of doing the process relaxes hands, eyes, and mind, calming children and adults alike, and how even the most similar beginnings of a project can evoke unique choices. I enjoy seeing children of any age shift into a lovely acceptance and even delight of images with singular expression and character.
Wishing you cheerful decorating and celebrations!
*The Double Doodle is one of 26 Brain Gym® activities from Brain Gym®: Teacher’s Edition by Dennison and Dennison, ©2010. The introductory course Double Doodle Play: A Window to Whole-Brain Vision offers a full day of exploration built on mirror-image mark-making and painting. For the name of a Brain Gym instructor, see the Foundation website, below. For a Double Doodle Play instructor, click on the link and look up 105DD under courses.
**The directions “in and out” (toward the midline and away) take precedence over “left and right.” When learners struggle with academics, returning to an “in and out” orientation, perhaps through the use of the Double Doodle or other Brain Gym activities, is often all that’s needed for them to reconnect with more effective movement patterns. For those familiar with internal rotation of the forearm and how that can inhibit printing and cursive writing abilities, notice how after a few minutes of doing this two-handed motion, the arms and hands often relax into a more natural and aligned position.
© 2015 by Gail Dennison. All rights reserved.
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Double Doodle Hearts and Flowers for Mother’s Day
© 2015 Gail Dennison. All rights reserved.
Brain Gym® is a trademark of Brain Gym® International/the Educational Kinesiology Foundation. Click here for the name of an instructor near you.