Parent Week - Art and Doodling for Relaxation

My name is Missy. I’m a guest blogger for PBS KIDS Utah. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art and Photography. I’ve taught for kids art camps at Red Butte Garden. I’ve shown art around my city, Olympia, Washington, and at the University of Utah. I’ve drawn every single day for almost my entire life.

I’m always busy. I’m fidgety. I like to have something to do with my hands. I have a hard time just sitting and doing nothing. Even in front of the tv, I like to have a sketchbook or my iPad in the lap. I like to doodle for the sake of doodling and not the end result. For me, it’s a form of therapy. It’s relaxing. Here are two “doodle designs” I learned sometime in elementary school and have kept them in my doodle arsenal since.

Really, there’s no "wrong" way to doodle. So each of these designs can be manipulated in any number of ways to create something new. And really, it’s about the process and not the end result. Sometimes something as simple as tracing the lines on lined paper can be a great “art therapy.”

Relaxing Doodles for Parents


  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Colored pencils


Tie-Dye Design

  1. With a colored pencil, scatter 7 dots on your paper.
  2. With the same color, make a “fuzzy circle” by zig-zagging around each dot.
  3. Choose a new color and use that same zig-zagging motion to create a ring directly around each circle.
  4. Keep changing colors and creating zig-zagging rings around and around.
  5. Once the circles start colliding into other circles, continue the zig-zagging to melt the circles into each other (instead of zig-zagging over the top of other zig-zags).
  6. Continue zig-zagging around the circles until the whole page is filled with color.
  7. Breathe and Relax.

Dot-To-Dot Design

  1. With a pen, scatter 12 dots on your paper.
  2. Now connect all the dots with a single line (do not enclose a full shape, leave it open ended).
  3. Go back to the first dot and draw a line to the second dot, this line should be parallel to the first line that connects dot 1 and dot 2 (almost like a halo).
  4. Do the same “halo line” from dot 2 to dot 3, dot 3 to dot 4, dot 4 to dot 5 and so on.
  5. When you come to the last dot, go on the other side of the original lines, continuing with the halo lines (in reverse order, dot 12 to dot 1.)
  6. When you get back to the beginning, do the exact same thing again. Back and forth. Around and around.
  7. Eventually the lines start colliding, make sure they just butt up against each other instead of overlapping.
  8. Always go all the way back to the dots in between lines.
  9. Breathe and Relax.

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