Are you ready for International Dot Day on September 15, 2023?
International Dot Day is one that is very dear to my heart. A few years ago, when I was spending time in the summer with my sister, who was a kindergarten teacher at the time, we explored how she could bring International Dot Day into her program. We had so much fun, imagining what children might do with dots and how the intended learning outcomes could be achieved with the use of dots. We soon realized that by celebrating International Dot Day, children can discover new things in their environment through their observations, illustrate their creativity through different mediums and have conversations that focus on dots.
International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, inspired by the children’s book “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. This story and International Dot Day reinforce the importance of adults creating environments that foster children’s creativity and build their confidence in their creative expression and individuality. International Dot Day provides a special time to celebrate children’s creativity.
Benefits of International Dot Day
- Building Children’s Confidence
Artistic endeavors during International Dot Day provide a safe and non-judgmental space for children to experiment, take risks, and learn from their mistakes. When adults celebrate children’s creative expressions, they are communicating the value of the creative process rather than the final product. This builds children’s confidence in their abilities.
- Integrating Learning Experiences
Incorporating International Dot Day in programs provides a unique opportunity to integrate curriculum outcomes through an array of explorations with and about dots. Educators can seamlessly combine art, literacy, math, science, and social studies activities into dot experiences. Various themes related to the story “The Dot” and its broader implications can also be examined. When children’s artistic dot creations are displayed, the discussions and reflections can spark new creative ideas.
- Developing Critical 21st-century Skills
International Dot Day promotes skills essential for success in the 21st century, such as creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Through creative activities, children learn to work collaboratively, appreciate diverse perspectives, and solve problems creatively – skills that are increasingly valuable in a rapidly changing world.
- Engaging Families and the Wider Community
International Dot Day can extend beyond the children’s creative expression by involving families and the community in the creative process. Educators might hold an art exhibit. Families might be encouraged families with children to look closely in their communities for items where dots are present. They can take photos of the dots they find to share with others. Dots are all around us, but we need to look closely to find them.
Potential Experiences for International Dot Day
International Dot Day is about encouraging creativity and self-expression in children. Below, are some engaging experiences that adults may consider offering children in their outdoor environments.
- Dot Art: Set up a provocation potentially using fabric with dots on it and include various art supplies such as paints, markers, crayons, paper and canvas incorporated into the display. If children express an interest in the display, encourage them to experiment with different colors, patterns, and textures. If possible, place children’s creations in picture frames and hang on the fence in the outdoor play space.
- Collaborative Dot Mural: Create a large dot on a large sheet of paper, a fabric sheet or canvas. Invite children to add their individual dot designs around the central dot, forming a collaborative dot mural. This can promote conversations, observation skills and teamwork, while celebrating the uniqueness of each child’s contribution to the overall creation.
- Dot Scavenger Hunt: Hide various sizes of dots in the outdoor play area. Have children look for the dots up on things, under things, on things and in things. This promotes observation skills and teamwork.
- Dot Storytelling: Read “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. For older children, encourage them to create stories about dots. They can draw illustrations or act out their stories using dot props. For younger children, adults might model to the children the naming of dots and creating stories where dots live.
- Dot Nature Walk: Take children on a nature walk to collect various-sized dots they find in nature, like pebbles, leaves, or flowers that have dots embedded in them. Encourage children to use the collected items to create dot art or a nature-inspired dot collage.
- Dot Dress-Up Day: Offer children a variety of dots that can use to decorate their shoes, hats, shirts, or pants. Imagine the conversations that children and adults can have about their dot designs. Observe the colours, patterns, and numbers of dots that children use.
- Dot Art or Story Exchange: Connect children with other programs and organize a dot-themed art or story exchange. Children create dot art or stories to send to children in a partner program. This heightens children’s sense of curiosity, creative expression, and being inspired by others.
- Dot Dance Freeze: Place a variety of dots in an outdoor space. Add music to the environment. As music plays, children jump, hop or crawl from one dot to the next. When the music stops, children need to freeze on a dot. This physical movement experience encourages children to use their bodies in different ways.
The core idea of International Dot Day is to inspire children’s creativity and self-expression. There are many ways in which math, science, language, and literacy learning outcomes can be incorporated into International Dot Day. Think about how the dot can inspire children’s creativity, foster a new sense of seeing and appreciating dots, and celebrate children’s artistic expressions. The possibilities are as limitless as the creativity you’re celebrating!