Children will use flower petals and other colorful materials to create mandalas and different unique patterns. This activity provides an opportunity for early math learning about quantity, patterns, and shapes.
- Clear contact paper cut into a large rectangle (one per child)
- White construction paper cut into a large circle (one per child)
- Collected or purchased flower petals, blades of grass, or any other flat materials that will stick to contact paper (e.g. construction paper, tissue paper, ribbon, or wrapping paper)
- Show children examples of mandalas and explain to them that a mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle, and it usually refers to a geometric image.
- Pass out one white, circular piece of construction paper to each child. Invite the children to create a pattern or design on top of the paper using the petals, grass, or other provided materials.
- Press the sticky side of the contact paper onto the mandala. Have children use their fingers and hands to press down all over the paper, making sure the items are secure.
- There will be some contact paper hanging over the edges of the mandala. Let children choose if they want to fold the excess onto the back of the mandala, or use scissors to cut it off.
Try these add-on activities:
- For younger children, introduce the concept of a mandala through visual arts and math. With older children, consider investigating the cultural significance of mandalas within Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
- Journey to a nearby garden or outdoor space. Invite children to explore the garden and share what they see/smell/hear/feel. When all the children have had a chance to explore the garden, invite them to collect any fallen petals or leaves that they find interesting.
- Prompt children’s creativity by providing real-life examples of mandalas. Inspire them by sharing the work of a specific artist, like Lori Schouela.