Books for Kids (and adults): The Dot, by Peter Reynolds
The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, is one of my favorite children's books (you'll probably hear me say that a lot...because I always find a new "favorite"). When a friend introduced me to it, I absolutely fell in love. I'm sure you can see from watching it why I love it so much...but just in case, I'll explain my rationale.
The Dot is a book about a little girl, Vashti, who doesn't feel like she has anything to offer. She's void of ideas (aren't we all at some point?!). The great thing is that this little girl has an adult in her life who challenges her to see herself differently. Her teacher looks for what she can do instead of focusing on what she can't. It inspires Vashti and, in the end, that confidence and encouragement leads her to inspire others. The Dot is great with kids or as an inspirational message to yourself.
One of my personal mantras is "believe in others until they can believe in themselves." Someone did that for me. I want to return the favor. It's a great message for kids; it's a great message for people who have or work with kids. It's part of the reason I started Believography.
Just the other day I discovered a whole new aspect of The Dot. There's an entire day dedicated to The Dot! It's called International Dot Day. It has already passed for this year, but you and your kids can look at all of the inspirational dots on the International Dot Day website and practice up for next year. They even have a Facebook page so you don't miss the next International Dot Day and a CelibriDot website so you can see what other celebrities have done as they were inspired by The Dot. If you're like me, you want to do things like this with your kids whether or not it's the right day and you like figuring out ways to access different activities. If you go to the Get Started area of their website, you can sign up for the Educator's Handbook. (my personal recommendation is just to act like a teacher and think of your kids as your students so you can get the free guide. Now that I've downloaded it, though, you may possibly be able to get the guide directly by clicking on the Educator's Handbook link). The guide has all kinds of cool activities that you can do with your kids around art and dots. How fun!
You might want to be like Maryann Molishus (one of the teachers mentioned in the Educator's Handbook, and find people in your community who are making a difference and give them an award certificate designed by your kids. Or maybe you want to have a Dot party and have everyone create their own dot and sign it as they walk in. One of the party activities could be to let people have a piece of large paper and paint so they can paint dots however they'd like. Or maybe you have a large "dot" wall where kids (or adults) can paint dots (on table paper attached to the wall, of course). Maybe you want to create a group dot with your family or with the neighborhood kids. There are lots of possibilities. Download the book and get more ideas!
Here's an awesome video by the author, Peter Reynolds:
It's a great video to watch with your kids to let them know that even real artists and authors have moments they need to be inspired by someone else.
Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to www.believography.com. WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.
Ah yes, A.S., you are so right!! I LOVE the dedication...love the people who have dared me to make my mark...and hope that lots of kids will be able to say I dared them to make theirs. Thanks for pointing that out!
you missed one crucial point...the dedication to Mr. Matson ..."who dared me to make my mark."
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