Hello! (are we all singing the next line of Adele’s song now when we read the word Hello? no? Just us? oh.) It’s all go here. Excitement, apprehension, so busy that we are forgetting to eat and drink (hahahahaha, we joke, we NEVER forget to eat) because….We are starting the countdown to our final issue of 2015. Mutiny Kids issue 4 will be released next week and we have all the emotions about it!
To help distract us from the work we’ve to do over the next few days, and focus us on THE BIG COUNTDOWN, Runaway Design Collective have given us FIVE of their new Doodle Number t-shirts to give to FIVE lucky winners. Aren’t they amazing? We think they are perfect for birthdays, regular days and counting down to magazine issue 4 launch days! (We’ll take a four please!)
To enter on instagram
Like the competition post and tag a friend per entry
Tell us what age tshirt you would hope to win
You can enter as many times as you like
To enter on Facebook
Like the competition post and tag a friend
Tell us in comments what age tshirt you would hope to win
You can enter as many times as you like
How amazing are the doodle designs? Do YOU doodle? Do you know what doodling is? (have I ever said doodle this many times in a week, never mind in one day?) If you read Runaway Design Collective’s blog post about the benefits, (improving concentration and productivity? Eh yes please, we’ll take some of that!!!) you’ll learn all about it. Here’s what they have to say. First published here on their Tumblr.
Over the past few years doodling has been trying to shed its reputation as a tool for procrastination and re-brand itself as a memory-enhancing, calm-inducing practice.
American doodling expert Sunni Brown wrote a book on the topic a few years back, arguing that far from being a distraction, doodling assists focus and memory retention. Her TED talk ‘Doodlers, unite!’ provides an interesting overview of her arguments.
She and others point to research by UK-based scientists into the impact of doodling on memory retention. One experiment undertaken by Jackie Andrade found that doodlers out-performed non-doodlers by 29% in monitoring and recalling information.
The research and theories put forward by Brown and others are succinctly summed up by the Huffington Post in the article ‘5 big benefits of being a doodler’. Doodling, they say, enhances concentration and productivity, keeps you in the present, is an outlet for everyday activity and can help to generate ideas.
I’ve been doodling a lot lately with my (nearly) three year old, Tom. He’s surprised me a few times with our doodle-related interactions, and it got me thinking about how the practice of doodling might impact differently and specifically on kids. A few of the Huff Post’s benefits clearly don’t apply, but some definitely do, only in different ways. So here are my five big benefits of being a little doodler (or if you’re Scottish, a wee doodler).
The top one for me is an indirect benefit for the kids. In my case, a doodling mother is a calmer and happier mother, equals calmer and happier children. This applies regardless of whether I doodle alone or with Tom. I won’t go into the theory or research here and now. But if you’re in the mood for more, my go-to sources on state of mind and parenting are James Oliver (How Not to F*** Them Up) and Ruby Wax (Sane New World).
While I’m on the issue of emotional welfare and self-regulation, I’ve started using doodling as a tantrum avoidance mechanism. Tom loves drawing, but isn’t normally allowed to use my coloured Sharpies. So naturally he finds them pretty exciting. ‘Let’s draw with mummy’s special pens!’ has, on occasion, averted some potentially devastating tantrums.
Doodling is a great leveller. Instead of demanding that mummy (the person who ‘can’ draw) produces a digger or a train while the little man observes, we collaborate on doodles. Being able to produce something together, both of us equally capable, is important for building creative confidence and an appreciation of art as a process. There’s some great thinking on this over at Meri Cheri’s family art blog.
And yes, doodling is a great way of integrating creativity into daily life. Most of my doodles start out as patterns marks on papers. But they come to life when my kid takes a look. They’re not lines, they’re railway tracks. They’re not triangles, they’re teeth. And this is what parenthood is all about, right? Re-seeing the world in a more creative way?
Lately, Tom and I have also been dabbling in doodle collage, which is really fun. We use washi tape (Japanese masking tape) instead of glue, which is a huge hit with the kid and involves minimal set-up and clean-up. Check out mt masking tape for inspiration and international stockists. Check out also Craftwhack’s Zentangle patterns, mixing the aesthetic of collage with doodling, and very lovely it is, too.
As little doodlers get older, there’s every chance they’ll grow into some of the other benefits touted by the doodle brigade. It may help them to focus at school, be more productive, and function at optimal level to absorb and retain information. Any teachers reading this? How cool would it be to re-run Jackie Andrade’s 2009 experiment in the classroom? It’s remotely possible that Jackie might be up for doing it properly with the under 18s.
So, the upshot is, go doodle. Get the kids doodling. Think twice before you steer them away from absent-minded scribbling. Pay a little attention, and you just might see that what you end up with goes way beyond marks on paper.
Until next time,
The Runaway Gang x