For a long time my girls have created little nature mandalas and art whenever we are in the bush or out for a walk. They gather collections of things as we wander and bring them together to make nature mandalas. They’ve been doing it since they were small, and it is still something they love to do, even as high schoolers.
This is an activity that is good for the youngest to oldest of kids (I love making nature mandalas myself). It’s something that fully occupies the mind and really makes you notice your surroundings as you look for things to add to your artwork. Learning to pay attention to detail and be observant are both excellent skills.
There’s a spiritual element to this nature art, too. A mandala is a circular figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. It represents ‘wholeness’ and creating a mandala is a very calming, mindful thing for a person to do. In fact, there are many benefits to creating any kind of art in nature.
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Benefits of creating nature mandalas and art
1. Kids observe their surroundings with a much more present eye as they look for suitable objects to add to their artwork.
2. Next there is the consideration as they work out which pattern they want to create. Colour, form, texture and pattern are all important here and a kid seems to instinctively know what will work in their design.
3. There isn’t an ounce of competition or worry about judgement when you are making something so transient. Kids feel really free to create without concern.
4. Nature is such a helper here, too. There’s not a lot you can pick up from nature that doesn’t instantly complement every other thing. This makes nature art a nice space to experiment within.
5. There is the careful attention as they put their artwork together. This is a quiet time, all the chatter involved in the planning is sent inside as they think through their design and get lost in creating.
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6. Leaving your nature mandala behind for someone else to discover feels like offering a gift to the universe. In the past, we have stumbled upon an artwork the girls left that had been added to by someone else. It was an amazing feeling of connection.
Next time you’re out for a walk, see what you can gather to make your own nature mandalas or artworks. We like to leave ours behind as a gift to whoever is next to wander the same path. This feels more important now than ever.
Every made a nature mandala? Do you think you will now?
All images by Maxabella