Today, I welcome Mihaela from Best Toys 4 Toddlers for a post about a fun drawing activity she likes to do with her older daughter–Zentangles! I’ve never tried these, and now I really want to! Thanks so much to Mihaela, and I hope you hop over to her page to see what else she has to offer on her blog about creative play with her littlest ones.
I have always been attracted to the arts, especially to drawings. Unfortunately, I never had enough time to sit down, to study human anatomy, or to learn how to draw people. In a way, I felt hesitant to draw because I thought I can’t. I was sure that I didn’t know how to draw. Then, I discovered Zentangles. A whole new world opened for me! Zentangles are awesome, easy, step-by-step, line-by-line drawings of little patterns. When repeated, these little lines and patterns can form awesome drawings! And I was hooked!
Since I run site with play ideas for toddlers and this is not something toddlers can do (lack of fine motor skills at that age), I was thrilled to get a chance to post for The Art Curator for Kids about zentangles! I’m one of the lucky moms whose daughter inherited a love for arts.
Here is our little story:
I noticed my 7-year-old daughter loves to draw certain items over and over again. In her case, it was this F-shaped horse she perfected. Every single new horse she drew was more detailed. At the same time, she started attending first grade, and we got a word back from a teacher that she’s a bit chatty and easily distracted. And then I thought of Zentangles. After all, sitting down and drawing same patterns over and over again had to add to her ability to concentrate and to pay attention to details. And this is how I ended with a partner for drawing sessions!
The best online resource for learning how to draw Zentangles (also known as tangles) is TanglePatterns.com, along with the official Zentangle site. When you visit these 2 sites, you might end overwhelmed with the number of patterns and variations. But drawing tangles is meant to be simple so don’t get discouraged. You can tangle on whatever you have at hand. And only things you need are a pen, pencil and paper. With those 3 things, you can create miracles!
To help you through, here are few basic terms you need to know:
- zentangle (tangle) – abstract pattern created using 2-3 basic strokes
- string – random drawing with pencil, kind of drawing a frame with sections for your tangles
- tile – 3.5” x 3.5” paper used for drawing zentangles, can be formed in mosaics
- mono-tangle – when complete paper is covered with variations of a single tangle
If you follow each of the links for these patterns, you will find step-by-step instructions for drawing. Some of the patterns may look very complex, but once they are broken into steps, you can see tangling is really simple–one stroke at the time until you fill the whole paper.
Another thing we have been exploring is how the pattern changes if you color different parts in different colors, or leave it uncolored. You can see example on this picture:
Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use the old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. Right now she’s thinking how to get her 7-year-old to make toys for 2-year-old as an idea to bring them closer together. In mean time, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest sharing playful learning ideas for toddlers and preschoolers.
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