I want to let you know about a wonderful learning tool that the lovely folks at The Herbal Academy Of New England and I have created. We have been busy putting together a series of posts for teaching kids about the basics of herbalism. The series is written for kids to read and designed to inspire children to exploration the world of herbalism. We have lessons on everything from botany to pharmacy to gardening.Read More
It has been a long time since I have shared a fun kid activity or recipes. Far too long! So here is our newest creation. It is all-natural (except for the glitter) and beautifully colored with powered flower petals.Read More
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.