Mystery pictures – pixel art

Graphic dictations – in this case Mystery pictures – pixel art – tasks consisting in filling a grated board according to a specific pattern, e.g. according to coordinates or the results of mathematical operations.

There are many possibilities and each of the solutions has its own advantages. They help to develop perceptiveness, spatial orientation in small and large format (reading a map), logical thinking, concentration, hand-eye coordination … it could be exchanged for a really long time. They are also an introduction to learning programming for younger children.

Redraw the pixel art

Graphic dictations for younger children differ from those for older, more initiated students. Mystery pictures for preschoolers can only be based on the mapping of the given pattern. In this case, we prepare a worksheet with a solution (a picture), and an empty board divided into fields (a coloring grid). In fact, it could even be a notebook with checkered pages. The child’s task becomes to redraw the picture.

During the preschool period, our daughter had a notebook with grid pattern, in which she wrote various calculations, designed her own graphic dictations and (most often) simply drew herself.

The grids onto which the mystery picture is transferred do not have to be of the same size. They can be larger, e.g. in the size of 2 × 2 cm. You can even go crazy and get an educational mat for coding that can hold the fields 10 x 10 cm or more. Such large-format prints are available, for example, on the Allegro website. Stiff card stock or creative foams can be used to represent the code.

Mystery pictures with the symmetry axis

Mystery pictures with the axis of symmetry add variety to the game of decoding the picture. It turns out, at least in the example of preschoolers, that mirroring the exposed half of a picture can be even more difficult than reading the coordinates from the code. In addition to the previously mentioned advantages of graphic dictations, such drawings with a mirror image (symmetrical reflection) shape children’s awareness of the existence of the right and left sides.

If your kid has a clear problem with imagining what a symmetrically reflected image should look like, and you have a portable mirror, you can help your child by applying the mirror to the symmetry axis. This way you will immediately see what the finished picture should look like.

Mystery pictures without crayons

Instead of crayons or pencils, you can play with colorful squares or circles. Where to get them? We print the solution in color and cut it into pixels – that’s one idea. The second idea requires colored paper: we cut them into squares or use a hole punch to cut circles.