While mandalas (sacred circles) can be experienced many ways, here they serve as a safe emotional holding space. With young children, I recommend providing a way to structure their safe space using concentric rings. It slows them down as they add color to one ring at a time. Making mandalas provides a visual way of creating balance & harmony on paper (and "inside" ourselves too!)
1) Gather and set up materials ahead of time (see below). Playing soft instrumental music in the background can set a reflective mood.
2) Share this mandala slideshow (Jenna Freck) with your child first! Feel free to flip through images so they see what mandalas look like. Point out they all have a "center" and an "outside."
3) Invite them to the table. TELL THEM: "You can make your own mandala now out of rings or circles. Let's begin by tracing your mandala first." (With/without assistance, children trace a plate onto paper using pencil).
4) ASK THEM: "Can you find the centerof the circle? Trace a small circle there. Which object (tape roll/lid/bowl/cup) will make the smallest circle in the center? Now, can you add color inside, all around that circle?"
5) Invite them to identify & add progressively larger rings around the center of their mandala. After each ring, pause and ask your child to add color around that circle. Remind your child they choose how many rings to add.
6) When they gradually reach the perimeter and seem finished, you can comment on all the colors and designs "growing out from the center."
7) YOU CAN SAY, "If colors and lines are like feelings and thoughts, what name (title) could you give your mandala?"
8) BEHOLD & PRAISE their mandalas as a mirror of their unique selves!
- Bring dried up/used markers "back to life" by putting them in water cups = instant watercolor pencils!
- And/or watercolor pencils dipped in water
-Plates, bowls, rolls of tape, lids, cups, anything circular & safe for a child to handle/trace
- Paper cut into a square shape larger than plate (balanced design)