I have to admit, I get a little anxious for Spring this time of year. To center myself and stay in the moment, I decided to embrace what’s left of the season by making snow mandalas! We tapped the maple trees and temperatures look like they are going to be high for the next two weeks, so this might very well be the last winter snow activity we do this year.
Loosely translated, mandala means “circle,” and most frequently these designs are intricate patterns or structures centered around a unifying center. Long embraced by many Eastern cultures, mandalas have been used to represent the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe. Very cool!
This is not the best project for little hands, but is a beautiful, meditative projects for older kids that will get them in the artistic flow. Trust me, they’ll barely even notice the cold!
What You Need
1. Stencils – I used this one and this one via Crafters Workshop. Of course you can always just paint without the stencil too.
2. Paints (we used non-toxic water based paint)
3. Paint brushes – harder bristles are better
5. Paper plate
What You Do
1. Dress for Success
Make sure you and the kids are warm for this activity, as it takes patience to make these. I dressed as I normally would to play outside in winter, but brought along a mat to sit on so I wasn’t kneeling for a long period of time in the snow. A cup of tea would make this even better.
2. Prepare the Snow
Packing the snow down and leveling it until it’s flat will make it so much easier to paint these. I used the snow shovel to get the first fluffy layer of snow off and pat it down.
3. Make a Plan
Before you start, decide what colors you want and put them on your paper plate
4. Start Painting
Now comes the fun part! Put the stencil down on the snow you prepared earlier and start painting. Go slow and take your time. No matter what you do, the snow is going to suck up the paint and spread it, so you won’t have clean lines. However, it helps to have a good mix of water and paint. If you use too much paint, it will clump up on the snow. If you use too much water, the colors will run together more.
5. Pro Tips
Ok, I’m not a pro at this, but did I learn that holding the stencil down opposite of the site you are painting on helps. Also, don’t lift up the stencil until you are done. I’m serious about this – you are really really going to want to look at the progress but try to resist. It’s difficult to find your place once you lift it up (of course I know this because I peaked!).
Once you are done, lift up the stencil, take a moment to admire the beauty of what you’ve just made and reflect on what it means to you. Namaste!
Including the Littles
- Here are some bigger animal stencils that would be easier for younger kids to use in the snow.
- Or for more an indirect/casual invitation, make some concentric circles in the snow with a stick and have the kids gather and arrange their own items around it.
No Snow? No Problem!
- Experiencing Mindfulness through Mandalas: A Meditative Activity for Children via thekidsyogaresource
- Making Mandala Art With Kids via Playful Learning
- Flower Mandala Suncatchers via the Nurture Store
- Leaf Printing Mandala via krokotak
- Free Printable Mandala Coloring Pages via @clementine creative
- The Mandala Book: Patterns of the Universe (great book to look at before getting started!)
- Free Mandala Calendar (free download) via A Piece of Rainbow
- Gorgeous Mandala Nature Art by Kathy Klein
I would LOVE to see your mandalas – post them on the Wilder Child Facebook page so I can ooh ahhh and share….
Your Woman Gone Wild,
PIN FOR LATER!