DIY Summer Art School: Zentangle Doodles

Doodling builds brain connections — it’s great for you and your kids. Take doodling to the next level and try zentangles. In fact, host your own DIY zentangle camp for kids!

Why Doodle?

If you’re a visual or kinesthetic learner, doodling helps you learn and recall information. Sunny Brown says in her TED Talk, “People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but in reality, it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing.”

If you need more convincing, read what the research says in Science magazine. Then watch Mo Willems, author of Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie books, talk about the importance of doodling.

Ready to get doodling?

Doodling in Patterns

Doodling is random but if you still want to doodle but use patterns and still getting the brain benefits plus meditative elements, try Zentangle — a way of drawing in patterns.

Zentangle Materials

You can use any paper to Zentangle. We like the heavier mixed-media paper and use Strathmore Visual Journals.

Mixed Media Strathmore Journal

For pens, we alternate between Pentel Colored Pens and Fine-Point Sharpies.

Beginning Zentangle for Kids

To start zentangling, draw inersecting lines on your paper from top to bottom and side to side.

In each section bordered by lines, fill it in with patterns!

See how I fill in all the sections with different shapes and patterns?

Basic Patterns for Doodling

Start by drawing intersecting lines like below. (Or intersecting circles.)

Color in checkers.

Draw plus signs.

Draw splotches with dots.

Draw squares or triangles in the boxes.

It’s all about repeating shapes, right?

For three-dimensional lines, make curvy, bendy lines across the section. Add more that go under the previous lines. Color in the background.


Isn’t this fun? And, you don’t have to be an expert artist. I’m not!  :) It’s just fun and good for your brain.

More Zentangles for Kids Ideas

1. HAND: Draw the outline of your hand. Zentangle inside it.

2. YOUR NAME: Draw your name in block letters. Zengangle in and around the letters.

3. CARDS: Make your own Zengangle greeting cards.

4. ROCKS: Draw Zentangle patterns on smooth stones.

Find more pattern ideas on the Tangle Patterns website or in a Zentangle book like Totally TangledThe Art of Zentangle, or The Joy of Zengangle.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


SHARE your doodles on the Imagination Soup Facebook page!! I can’t wait to see what you draw!