A giant mandala for a calming group activity
In this article, I would like to suggest a very simple activity you can enjoy with your group. In my opinion, we often spend way too much time searching for THE brilliant idea to keep little ones busy and forget how children appreciate and enjoy the simplest things.
Teaching children to focus, to calm down, and relax is very important. After all, if their brain is not given a break from time to time, overexcitement will lead to loss of self-control. Learning to focus and tap into their feelings represents an interesting tool to add to their personal toolboxes.
I like to use mandalas to help children achieve this. Individually or as a group, coloring mandalas is an interesting activity for reducing tensions. I strongly recommend exploring them with your group. Many adults enjoy coloring mandalas too, mainly because of the benefits associated with this activity. Of course, I am among the growing number of adult mandala enthusiasts...
A great way of introducing children to mandalas is by creating one giant mandala as a group.
You will need:
- A roll of white paper
- A black marker
Creating a mandala is super simple. Cut a large piece of white paper. The size will depend on the size of the mandala you wish to create. As in the picture below, draw black lines any which way to create a unique mandala. Hang the mandala on a wall or set it on the floor. Encourage children to use coloring pencils or markers to fill each section with color.
When and where should you use your giant mandala?
I am tempted to say that you can let children work on their mandala whenever and wherever they wish. You may invite them to work on it when you feel they need a break or to calm down. You could also integrate your mandala in a routine, right before or after naptime or before lunch for example. Use this activity to show children how they can create individual mandalas so they can benefit from this calming activity at home too.
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator