International Dot Day…Self-Esteem Through Artistic Expression

 Raise your hand if you think you can draw.

If you didn’t raise your hand, you are like most of us…our inner artist has been discouraged and hammered down.

How does this happen?  A parent says, “No, the grass should be green!”  The teacher says, “That’s not how a dog looks!”  A fellow classmate says, “You can’t draw!”

In 2003, Peter Reynolds wrote and illustrated a book that encouraged children of all ages to be to imagine, dream and create.   His premise was that there is no right or wrong way.  

This week over 500,000 children in all 50 states and around the world will be participating in International Dot Day, in their classrooms or at home. 

Visit to learn more about International Dot Day.  You will find activity suggestions, resources, a global map showing participants…you can even take a look at the dots being created by celebrities.

As parents and as teachers, we can

  • Encourage our children to enjoy all types of art mediums…paint, clay, paper cutting, drawing and sculpting.  
  • Provide the materials and participate with our kids.
  • Make thoughtful, but non-judgmental comments about our children’s art.
  • Proudly display the art our children produce.

Creative expression is art in its purest form. 

If you allow yourself to have fun with art, so will your children.

During my time in New Hampshire, my almost four-year old grandson became fascinated with Cheerios.  We had a Cheerios Halloween Board Book that called for using Cheerios on different pages to fill in missing buttons, eyeglasses, etc.  Jeremy had a ball…placing Cheerios in the “proper” places…and then eating each one!  Here’s his International Dot Day dot picture.

29 thoughts on “International Dot Day…Self-Esteem Through Artistic Expression

  1. This is such an important issue for so many kids. I was one of them. Love the eye at the centre of your dot, Vivian. Great to celebrate this creative day.


    •  Thanks, Joanna…you are right…most parents and teachers don’t ‘purposely’ squash a young child’s creativity…they do it without thinking, because that’s what they heard when they were growing up or perhaps they want to encourage the child to ‘conform’ and fit in.  Some may just be very controling parents…but we can all learn to take a step back and allow a child to breath, expand and express when doing art!  Glad you liked my dot. 🙂  


    • Thanks, Pat!  Jeremy decided which order for the colors…he actually did one of his own with Cheerios…which are kind of dots, I think. 🙂  It was packed away and I couldn’t find it when I posted last night…but I will add his as soon as I can. 🙂   


  2. Cool dot! Wonderful post. I was one of those kids who had her artistic leanings thwarted by various things as I grew up. Thank goodness for a friend and mentor who unleashed my creativity when I was in my late teens.

    Thanks, Vivian!


    • You are one of the lucky ones, Beth!  So many of us have missed out on decades of enjoyment and pleasure.  My husband started painting about three years ago…and he absolutely loves it.  He never thought of himself as artistic or creative…but his work is wonderful and it brings him great joy!   


  3. It’s important in senior centers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, too. It’s amazing how much happier people of all ages can be with a big pad of paper, some colored pencils or crayons and encouragement!


  4. What a fabulous idea! I wish there was something like that way back when. I got a C in high school art and I never picked up a pencil until 1994 because my art teacher said I didn’t have any talent. 🙂


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