early drawing

Halloween Double Doodle Drawing Trick for Hands and Brains

For a play-of-the-day, try this Halloween double doodle drawing trick. It’s a trick on paper but a real treat for brains, fun and sweet.

What is double doodle drawing? This is the name given to drawing with both hands together by Jean at The Artful Parent. We tried it and it was both a trick and a treat.

2 hand drawing

For this drawing activity, kids pick up a crayon or marker in each hand. They decide what they might draw. Since it’s Halloween, some ideas are a pumpkin, ghost, or haunted house. Monsters are something else we see at Halloween. Now on the paper, kids draw and each hand doing the same thing. This takes a lot of concentration but it’s quite exciting.

This is a house Big Sister drew. When we first tried this art with two hands, Little Sister could hold a marker in each hand and really liked that part. She didn’t have the idea of each hand doing one side of the drawing. Her two hands scribbled all over the paper but they moved independently rather than being coordinated. About the age of 4 to 5 and older seems to be a reasonable expectation for getting the two hands going together. These are more recent ones for our Halloween double doodle drawing trick. Again, Little Sister moved her hands in different directions.

For an idea of the challenge, you try this too. Even as an adult, I noticed I needed to touch my tongue to my lip. Kids often do this when they are concentrating. This seems to be related to how the brain works during tasks that require coordination and deeper thinking.

The video included is from another double doodle drawing activity on HeartsAtPlay. The explanation made sense, that the brain quits focusing on making the visual image and instead pays attention to the movement of the hands. We no longer worry if we can or can’t draw and just enjoy the doing. Did you and your child find this fun?

Double Doodle Halloween Slideshow from Gail Dennison on Vimeo.

Space Activities #14: Chalk Moon Footprints

Is it really the 47th anniversary of the moon landing? We couldn’t walk on the moon so instead we made chalk moon footprints on the patio. What a fun play-of-the-day and space activity idea.

chalk moon footprint activiity
Edwin Aldrin, NASA via Wikimedia Commons

When he walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Because there is no atmosphere and erosion from wind and water, the footprints are still there. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took a photo of one of his.

chalk moon footprints

Maybe from hearing about it on the news or listening as we talked around the table, when we went outside to the patio, Little Sister took off her sandal and traced around it with sidewalk chalk. She asked for help with the tracing but colored inside the outline by herself. Unlike the moon, where the water is frozen, she dipped a paint brush from the outside toybox and painted over it with water. Then she scrubbed at it with an old dish brush which is another sort of toy. Soon, her footprint had disappeared. Big Sister made one too.

chalk moon footprints

Drawing is another sort of expression for kids. It starts with scribbles and lines as kids discover they have the power to make marks. Later, their marks represent something and we may be able to recognize what it is. Not all drawings though will look like an object. Sometimes kids just draw shapes and colors but whatever they do, it will be meaningful for them.

chalk moon footprints

For some fun today, give kids a few sticks of sidewalk chalk and let them draw and color. Sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways are like giant pieces of paper with lots and lots of space. Even if they are not coloring any planets, asteroids, rockets, stars, or chalk moon footprints, it can still be a space activity. Can they fill up the space? Wonder if the astronauts were tempted to draw in the dirt on the moon?

Draw and Color Spring on the Sidewalk

Spring is such a welcome time of year. Instead of shoveling sidewalks, for a play-of-the-date get out the chalk and let kids color on them. Adults can even join in the drawing and coloring fun.

spring sidewalk chalk drawingSidewalk chalk is very inexpensive and you can often find it at dollar stores. The jumbo sticks of chalk do not break quite as quickly as the thinner ones. Chalk sticks come in a variety of colors and they can be used over and over. Rain will wash the chalk off driveways, sidewalks, and skin but for clothing, play clothes are suggested.

sidewalk chalk drawingHow children play with sidewalk chalk will depend on their age and development. Young toddlers will quite likely draw lines and scribbles on the sidewalk. Older ones may draw animals, simple shapes, or favorite items. Flowers, rainbows, and the sun are common choices for spring, but children will have their own preferences.

The small muscles are still developing at this age so it’s easier for kids to draw on the big space of a sidewalk instead of just the small area on a piece of paper.

spring chalk rainbowDrawing promotes the connecting of important pathways in the brain. Children are not just creating pictures on the sidewalk, they are also creating them in their minds. This is the skill of visualizing. As children draw, they are expressing themselves in another form, another sort of language. They are showing us how they interpret and represent the world.

sidewalk spring drawingWords are often linked to pictures as children tell us about their drawings. Using words and pictures together is part of the reading process. Kids are also practicing their attention and concentration skills. They are observing and noticing details.

Imagination and creativity are part of the play and it includes other kinds of learning too. Can drawing fun with chalk be part of your child’s play today?