Many cultures and religions throughout the world use Mandalas as spiritual teaching tools. Their use is rooted in eastern religious traditions, but has also been adopted by the west, as a way of focussing the mind, and encouraging transformation and healing.
Making a chalk mandala is my farewell to summer, and a reluctant welcome to the fall. It is also a wonderful form of creative self-expression, and hopefully something kids will explore on paper as well.
- string (optional)
- scissors (optional)
Mandala is a Sanskrit word for circle, and that is the shape you will be filling in. To begin, choose a clear area outside and make a small dot with chalk, on the ground. Use this as your starting point for drawing geometric and/or organic shapes. If you prefer a bit more precision, you can use a string to make a circle that will contain the drawing.
Estimate how big you would like to make the circle, and cut a length of string slightly longer than its radius. Tie it onto a piece of chalk. Hold down the other end of the string in the centre of the circle, and with the chalk end, draw all the way around to complete the circumference of the circle.
You can continue to divide the space into smaller circles, or with lines going through the centre to create wedges. Otherwise, begin filling it in, working your way from the centre to the outside edge, until finished.
You’ll find many wonderful images of chalk mandalas on the internet: