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Making Snow Mandalas

Making Snow Mandalas

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!
The value in mandalas

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!

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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

4. Water

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
Make mandala art with kids winter activity

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!).

6. Breath 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!

winter activities with kids in the snow make mandalasIncluding 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.
    flower mandalas suncatchers

No Snow? No Problem!

More Loveliness

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,



A beautiful winter art project, make snow mandalas! |Wilder Child
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  • Thanks so much – this is the first year it really hit me that I’m surrounded by a blank canvas :)

  • So beautiful! I wish we had some snow!

    Cathy @ NurtureStore

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