Creating doodle art can be a powerful, yet easy process! The simple task of drawing lines repeatedly, to create a doodle, can help children feel less overwhelmed, less stressed, and more equipped to deal with their emotions. The art form of doodling, was once regarded as a waste of time but recent studies have shown that doodling has a purpose and several benefits including improving memory and one’s ability to focus.
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5 Benefits of Doodling
1. Doodling Creates Mindfulness
When we focus on the art of doodling, independent of everything else, we can create a beautiful mindfulness practice. Doodling is often done simultaneously to other activities, such as learning in class or while talking on the phone. However, creating doodle art provides kids with an opportunity to slow down and be present in the moment. This can be achieved by encouraging them to focus all of their attention on the movement of their drawing utensil, the sound of it moving across the paper, the texture of the paper itself, the placement of their lines, their breathing etc. Basically focusing on what they’re doing and feeling at the moment. Remind them that when making doodle art, their final product is not as important as their state of being while creating it. The magic happens in the process of doodling!
2. Doodling is an outlet for stress relief.
There have been many studies examining the effects of creating doodle art on mental health. Drawing doodles or zentangles can help alleviate psychological distress and anxiety because it promotes relaxation. The repetition and carefree motions involved in creating the doodles has been shown to suppress the body’s fight-or-flight response. In fact, making art in general is a proven method for reducing cortisol levels, as known as the stress hormone.
3. Doodling can be liberating
One of the beautiful things about doodles and zentangles is that there are no mistakes. In fact, it is recommended that doodles are completed using permanent markers or a writing utensil that cannot be erased for this very reason. There are no mistakes. If a line seems to be placed in error, it actually isn’t. Every line has a purpose and has a place. Every line can be incorporated somehow into your overall design. Doodling has a built in safety net because there is no right or wrong way to do it. If your child is hesitant about making mistakes, or focuses a lot on perfection, doodling can help ease some of that rigidity and encourage them to let go, embrace the process, and flow in their creativity.
4. Doodling can improve your memory
Although doodling was once believed to be distracting, as mentioned previously, there have been several studies that have proven otherwise. This study by Time magazine, suggests that doodling can be an effective memory aid. The article refers to a study that found that memory retention could be increased by simply doodling while listening to information orally. It was discovered that doodling can actually decrease your tendency to daydream because it stimulates the brain just enough to keep you also focused on the current task simultaneously.
5. Doodling Helps Solve Problems
Doodling has also been known to help us analyze information differently because it stimulates areas of the brain that are typically dormant during linguistic mode. According to Sunni Brown, author of “The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently”, when you doodle “you are lighting up different networks in the brain”, which can kick start creativity and inspiration. Ah-ha moments can often arise during sessions of doodling or you might gain clarity on a certain issue that once baffled you. When my students or children are faced with issues or are feeling overwhelmed by certain situations, one of the activities I encourage is doodling. I’ve found that even just 5 minutes of doodling can create enough mental clarity to help them work through their feelings and observe situations from different perspectives.
Here is our YouTube video that will teach you how to create simple doodle art using repeated lines. This doodle is perfect for children or beginners.
Step 1 – Prepare Your Materials
- Get all of your supplies ready for this cool activity.
Step 2 – Draw a Dot Anywhere on Your Page
- You can draw a dot in the middle or off-centred like Chanel did.
Step 3 – Draw Wavy Lines
- Starting at the dot that you created, draw radiating wavy lines to the end of your page. We drew 14. If you’re using standard letter size paper, I would recommend at least 8-10 wavy lines.
Step 4 – Create Arches
- Choose a section and start creating arches. Begin at the narrow end, near the dot and work your way up through the shape.
- Continue to fill in each wavy section with arches until all of the sections are complete.
Tip: I suggest that you start your arch in the corner and end in the opposite corner, slightly overlapping the corners of the arch before it. This will create those dark shadowy lines that we notice between each wavy section.
Step 4 – Add Charcoal
- Beginning at the dot that you started with, lightly add some charcoal using a circular motion.
- Using your finger or a Kleenex, blend the charcoal outward.
- Continue to layer the charcoal and blend outward, until you are happy with the effect.
Doodling isn’t just for kids! I encourage everyone to grab a piece of paper and a drawing utensil. Start with a simple line and see where that line takes you. You might be pleasantly surprised. There is also an abundance of coloring books available now for both children and adults that focus primarily on fostering mindfulness and creativity. Here are a few of my recommendations:
As educators and parents, we should aim to help our children fill their emotional toolbox with coping strategies that can build resilience, while encouraging mindfulness. Creating doodle art checks both of these boxes, plus many more.
Please let me know how your doodle art turns out. I’d love to add your creations to our gallery, so upload your photos or send a message to [email protected]. Have fun doodling!