I have something for you here that will help solve hours of activity planning and bring you calm and connection in your household.
Create a mandala as a team with the kids.
A truly beautiful screen-free activity, that brings you together in a peaceful way.
This is a great activity for so many reasons and in so many ways.
It is mindful, which is much needed when yours and the kids mind needs a rest
It is mathematical, combining learning and geometry with art so subtly
It brings you together, perfect collaboration
How do you do it?
Take it turns! Oh yes that is certainly something that needs mastering in this household, which is dominated by a 3 year old. He still doesn't quite have the motor skills for this activity, but we find ways to practice.
Taking it in turns on this activity really requires you all to practice patience for oneself and acceptance of others.
I think it is important to agree as a family that you will appreciate each others creations however they turn out.
Find your centre and lightly draw out four evenly spaced lines, all of the same length.
Draw a circle or two somewhere along the pattern.
For younger kids set up the dimensions on the mandala.
Use a ruler and compass. Or something round to set out
Older children can create their own template. This is where the maths really comes in. Compass, protractor, ruler all at the ready.
Here are some steps and questions for those mathemagicians.
Let's work out those angles.
What should the diameter be?
How do we work out the circumference of a circle?
Can you predict how many layers the mandala will have?
What will influence the number of layers?
Does having a larger diameter mean more layers?
First person draws the first layer
Remember to let go of any ideas or pre-planned designs. Let it flow and see what comes out.
Next person draws the next layer.
Again let go and let it flow.
Keep taking it in turns to draw each new layer.
Soon you will have a beautiful mandala (or something truly special)
Remember it doesn't have to be perfect. Really keep this in mind when collaborating with young children.
Colour it in!
Again take it in turns to colour each layer.
You don't have to colour your own layers. This is a collaboration after all.
Here is a mandala created by two sisters in Horsham, aged 12 and 14.