International Dot Day - International Dot Day is here, which means it's time to celebrate! Check out our page for all the best Dot Day resources for September 15.

International Dot Day 2024 – September 15, 2024

International Dot Day is every September 15 and, today, we start with a story about a little girl named Vashti, the protagonist of Peter H. Reynolds’ tale, “The Dot.”

When is International Dot Day 2024?

‘Make your mark’ and see where it takes you on International Dot Day on September 15.

History of International Dot Day

On September 15, 2003, author and illustrator of children’s books, Peter H. Reynolds released his book “The Dot.” In the story, Vashti felt like she couldn’t draw — but her art teacher wouldn’t accept that. “Just make a mark, and see where it takes you,” the teacher said to Vashti. So, she marked her parchment paper with a small dot.  The next day, Vashti was surprised to find her paper with the dot on the classroom wall. Vashti was so proud of her work that she started creating drawings with different kinds of dots.Eventually, Vashti was able to pass the lesson about confidence that she had learned from her teacher onto someone else. A dot might be small, but it’s a powerful way to show your unique individuality and creativity. And that’s the story that inspired International Dot Day. “The Dot” has inspired millions of children and adults. It is used by teachers as a method to encourage creativity and instill confidence in students. One teacher in Iowa, Terry Shay, introduced the book to his entire classroom on September 15, 2009. This led to the observance of International Dot Day every year on September 15. The flow of creativity and courage is celebrated by millions of teachers and students around the world. Such is the widespread influence of “The Dot” that it is currently celebrated in 192 countries by more than 19 million people! There is also a website by the name ‘The Dot Club,’ which serves as a free resource for downloadable material and printouts like an official certificate of participation.  

International Dot Day timeline

September 15, 2003
It Begins With a Dot

Peter H. Reynolds publishes his story “The Dot.”

The Dot Spreads

International Dot Day officially launches after teacher Terry Shay introduces the book to his students.

Reception of the Dot

Registrations for the observance of International Dot Day reach 17,500 throughout several states.

The Dot Movement

Participation and involvement on International Dot Day peaks at 1.3 million participants in 84 countries.

International Dot Day FAQs

What is the purpose of International Dot Day?

International Dot Day is celebrated by adults and children for boosting courage so that their creative potential is released. It is a great day to connect and collaborate, and also to celebrate self-expression. 

When is International Dot Day?

International Dot Day is celebrated on September 15 every year.  

What is the theme of “The Dot?” 

“The Dot” is a tale of an inspiring teacher who encourages a shy student to believe in herself and ‘make her mark.’

International Dot Day Activities

  1. Read "The Dot

    Peter H. Reynolds' storybook, "The Dot," is the book that started it all. Check it out for "the story of a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher challenges her to 'make her mark.'

  2. Donate art supplies to a school

    If it's within your means, your local school system may have an art program that could use your help. Consider donating unused office supplies or other things around your home as "found art" that students might want to explore for projects.

  3. Paint a picture or write a poem

    Get creative and make your own mark! There's no better way to celebrate International Dot Day than by reaching down into your own well of imagination and doing something artistic that reflects who you are. Even if you can't afford art supplies, you may have a program on your computer that lets you create digital art. Give it a try!

5 Science-Based Facts About Creativity

  1. Conformity kills creativity

    Conformity stifles creativity as it creates pressure to maintain a certain way of doing things.

  2. The key to creativity is openness

    In a study linking creative expression with openness, individuals possessing a free-flow mind reported the highest rates of creativity.

  3. Creative people live longer

    Creative minds have better ways to overcome hurdles in life and are more than likely to get more creative with age.

  4. Positivity boosts creativity

    An upset and unclear mind will weigh down the creative process and create less motivation.

  5. Creative people tend to be independent

    This is mostly subjective but traits commonly linked to creative people include independence, a sense of self-orientation, and dedication towards work.

Why We Love International Dot Day

  1. Dots are symbolic

    Depending on how philosophical you'd like to get, a dot can represent nearly anything. We use them for punctuation, to convey when one thought ends and another begins.

  2. Dots are building blocks

    When you go down deep enough, every piece of art is just a different arrangement of dots as in the artistic technique, pointillism. But in our digital world, it's easy to see that every image is a collection of pixels, which when isolated, are merely a collection of individual, digital dots. Let's think of them as the "atoms" of the art world!

  3. Dots are easy to draw

    Anybody on the planet can celebrate International Dot Day. This is because everybody can draw a dot and make their mark. Period.

International Dot Day dates

Year Date Day
2023 September 15 Friday
2024 September 15 Sunday
2025 September 15 Monday
2026 September 15 Tuesday
2027 September 15 Wednesday