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Doodles are good for you
What does the notepad next to your phone look like? Full of scribbles, lines, circles, faces and blobs?
You don’t have a notepad next to your phone? Get one. It is good for you, honestly. Says who? Says the research.
I recently came across “one of those” studies - the ones that get cited everywhere. This one was about doodling: aimless drawing of shapes, without any desire to create something pretty, or concern about artistic ability. Just, well, scribbles.
My notepad is full of scribbles, which is why I intensely dislike the idea of telling my students to “stop doodling”. Why should they? Unfocused drawing, it turns out, can actually help you to stay focused, and it has even been shown to improve recall.
Not only that, doodling can make you feel less stressed. While you doodle, your unconscious gets some time to process stuff, connect things that happened to your existing memories and ideas about the world and thereby help you to make a bit more sense of what’s going on.
So, if your notepad is a mess: good for you! If your child doodles in its school exercise books: get some scrap paper that it can use instead. If a teacher tells your child to stop: have a conversation about whether the doodling really affects their performance – if that’s the case, take it seriously. Nevertheless: Maybe the doodling just helps your child to stay on task, and to be a bit less stressed in a busy classroom.
lines, circles, blobs - do you know more? Draw them on some paper: doodling is good for you! Now look up the words in English, or any other language you might be learning.
notepad, school exercise books, scrap paper, scribble, drawing, doodling
stay focused, stay on task