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"Forget yourself and become one with nature! Obliterate yourself with polka dots!" - Yayoi Kusama
Shapes and patterns are sprinkled all throughout the natural world. Slowing down to look for these patterns in nature is a terrific way to help kids build observation skills and connect to the artistic beauty in herent in nature. Discovering familiar shapes and patterns can even inspire an emotional response. In fact, researchers have discovered that people all over the world experience feelings of joy when looking at and interacting with round shapes, like spirals, ovals and circles. In this activity, inspired by the book Yayoi Kusama Covered Everything in Dots and Wasn't Sorry by Fausto Gilberti, kids embark on a nature dot-hunt. Then, kids use the objects they found to make their own dot art.
One fun way to keep kids always ready to make shapes is to keep an eye out for shapes in nature. Recognizing and naming shapes and patterns is super helpful for kids’ future learning, not only about geometry or design but about how we use symbols to read, write and communicate. And, shapes are a tool for helping kids learn to direct and hold their focus.