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Get your Doodle on

January 31, 2013 - Erin O'Neill
Moms, dads, grandparents, teachers and caregivers listen up: It’s Doodle 4 Google time!

This is the sixth year for this project by the search engine giant Google and the idea is for budding artists in grades K through 12 to design an iconic logo around the theme “My best day ever.”

According to the official website, Google chose this theme “to give students a blank canvas but to spark their curiosity with a broad theme.” The competition is stiff — over 114,000 entries last year — but the perks are very inticing, including having the work displayed on Google for a day, $30,000 for college and a $50,000 technology grant for the student’s school. Not too shabby, right?

In the past, entire schools have participated in the project. I don’t know of any teachers locally who are incorporating this into their curriculum this year but I am sure there are some and I commend them. However, if your child is interested in submitting a masterpiece and it isn’t a class project, templates can be downloaded from the website After school programs, day care facilities and individuals are all encouraged to participate.

There are some guidelines to follow of course. One entry per child is allowed and 3D materials like puffy paint and macaroni are not allowed (sorry parents, I know how much you all love the mess/creativity that accompanies these works of art!). If you are a student that is technologically inclined, using Photoshop is allowed. Entries can be mailed via snail mail or uploaded directly to Google.

This year’s theme is one that I really like a lot. “My best day ever” encourages children to think positively about something that has happened in their lives or something that they aspire to do. Examples from Google that have been suggested to inspire are “...when I kicked the winning goal,” “...when my little sister was born,” and “...will be when I go to college.” Other themes have included “What I want to do someday” and “If I could travel in time, I’d visit” and winners have really been from all age groups. Last year’s winner was a 7-year-old boy from Wisconsin.

Judges will narrow down the submissions to 250 state finalists across all grade groups and then the list will be whittled down to 50. The public will have an opportunity to vote on their favorites online. A diverse list of guest judges this year includes TV personality Katie Couric; Pendleton Ward, creator of “Adventure Time; ?uestlove, drummer for Jimmy Fallon’s TV band, The Roots; and Brian Henson from the Jim Henson Company.

So get creating families. The deadline to submit your art and entry form is March 22. And, above all, become involved in your child’s project. Give them ideas, give them encouragement, give them feedback and be their biggest fan. Whether his or her artwork is chosen, it is all about the experience and working together as a family.


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