I’m sure by now everyone knows that I’m a huge huge huge fan of doodling (evidence here and here). So can you imagine how trilled I am when I discovered Zentangle? I’m no expert at it – this is not a tutorial. I really am still at the beginner stage, but I can’t wait to share it with you and learn together!
What is it?
To be specific, Zentangle is not doodling. Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile.
So… even if there’a a specific method to Zentangle, I believe any form/style of art deserves the artist’s personal input. Mine was to make it big and colourful! Zentangling actually has a lot of benefits, and I thought it would be good to introduce it to my kiddos as well.
zentangle.com has a long list of benefits, these are the ones that I observed from my lessons and find extremely accurate:
Simple and quick access to mindfulness
Increase attention span and ability to concentrate
Some of my students tend to be more active and have shorter attention span. It can be quite tiring to be constantly trying to get them to concentrate. I was initially worried that they would not enjoy the project since it was of a bigger scale, it can be rather tedious. But surprise, surprise – 90mins later and they are asking me to stay so they can continue with it.
Oh, you also wouldn’t believe how quiet and peaceful the class was. Everyone was concentrating so hard, nobody answered me when I tried to strike a conversation.
Nurture and develop creative abilities
Improve eye/hand coordination
Develop/rehabilitate fine motor skills
Especially for kiddos who are slightly more dependent on me/ afraid of making mistakes – I observed that they require lesser prompting and were able to work very well on their own. Occasionally looking around for inspiration.
I’ve also skipped drawing with a pencil first, hoping to encourage more confidence in drawing. They made mistakes with the markers – but hey! They turned those mistakes into beautiful elements on their art pieces.
I did these with my preschoolers as well as the older kids. Overall, I’m really pleased with the outcome of this project. Some of the kiddos struggled a little at first, but nearly all of them requested for more of such lessons in the future.
Believe me, try it out for yourself and you’ll be addicted too! xx Cherlyn