How to: Make a Nature Mandala

Here we show you how to set up a fun art activity at home for your child using only what nature provides. The best part is that you’ll love participating too. Enjoy!

What: A nature mandala is a circular art form that is made using different objects and natural materials.

The idea of this experience is to invite your child to embrace their relationship with nature and develop their bond with you at the same time. It’s a peaceful activity that encourages mindfulness while embracing the beauty of nature.

Use: lots of different natural materials collected from your nature walk, including shells, rocks, pebbles, vibrant flowers, leaves, seaweed and anything else your child finds on their time outside.

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1. Head off on a walk with your child. This could take place at your garden at home, at the beach, around the local neighbourhood or while out on a bush walk. Let your child collect and and carry different materials, especially ones that they are naturally curious of.

2. Lay all the materials out and take the time to look at each of them. This is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the walk, talk about where you found each object, or imagine how they could be used in the nature mandala.

3. Sort and collect the materials by size, shape, colour etc. It’s important that the child is involved in this process. This is where closer relationships with the materials are formed. Small differences in character can be discovered and children are very close observers of these. This process evokes ideas and knowledge about aesthetic qualities while involving mathematical concepts at the same time.

4. Find a place to create a mandala or similar composition. You can do this inside or out. Either find a flat surface or work on at home, or use the sand at the beach or another outside surface. The idea that the nature mandala is not permanent, so there’s no use of glue.

5. Start to create a simple pattern or shape by placing a larger object in the middle. Let the shape expand outwards rings or layers. The nature mandala art emerges and grows through the process. Encourage your child to select different objects for their size, texture or colour and add them to the artwork.

6. Keep adding until your child decides that the mandala is finished. Feel free to take a photo of it for keepsake. Or, if you’ve made a mandala outside, then revisit it over a few days and document the changes that wind, rain and sun can make to the formation.

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