Flowers 'n' spice and everything nice went into these lovely little mandalas!
"What's a mandala Ms. Angela?" was the immediate question I received after telling the kids what would be making together. While showing the kids a mandala coloring sheet I brought in for them, I explained that a mandala is a circle with a center. It has patterns. "As you work on a mandala," I explained, "you become calm and reflect on the beautiful parts inside yourself."
Inspiration for this project came directly from Nuture Store's wonderful post about Play Dough Rangoli Mandalas. The instant I saw these mandalas I knew I would have to make them (with an herbal flare) at the preschool as part of our unit on Mindful Self Care.
- Play Dough (To enhance relaxation during this project I made play dough scented with lavender essential oil and colored lightly with beet powder.)
- Lids of some sort ~ like the lids from yogurt containers or jars
- Pretty botanicals to design with ~ we used baby rose buds, hawthorn berries, star anise and tiny fragrant cardamom seeds.
- Set up your materials on a table. I laid out the botanicals on a paint palate and put lids in the center of the table.
- Give the children a brief age-appropriate description of a mandala.
- Have each child choose a lid and write their name on the bottom.
- Give them some play dough to press into their lid. Remind them that a mandala is a circle and to press their play dough up to the edges of the lid. You might need to help really little kids.
- Then let them design! You might want to tell the children to press the herbs into the play dough so the herbs will stick.
- On a separate table, if you wish set up coloring materials and mandala coloring sheets for the children to enjoy as well. A quick search online will give you lots of mandala coloring sheet to choose from.
Our finished mandalas smelled amazing! Some of the children really got into this project. I could see and feel their minds and bodies relaxing as they carefully pressed each plant into their play dough. They would pick up a plant, smell it taking a deep breath and then place it in the perfect spot on their play dough canvas.