A great friend and I took the littles hiking this week. We decided to try making a mandala out of natural items we found on the hike and went there with this intent. There is a state park within 15 miles from here with a beautiful stream, huge climbing rock, and great paths. So, we gathered up our kids, baskets, water and strength and went for it. Amongst the regular child tears because of hunger or tripping, they braved the trail quite well.
I brought along the trimmed branches from my spring apple tree pruning. We just broke those and lay that out as our circle. Then we hiked and searched. When we got back from hiking the kids added pine cones, leaves, grasses, phlox, dandelions (yellow and white), rocks, dried leaves, and sticks. My friend also added orange peels from the kids snack time. Super cute:)
We weren’t about to tell the kids it had to be a repeated pattern, so they just added at will. With the 1, 3, and 4-year-old we thought that wouldn’t work out well. The older kids could have done it, but then they would have been telling the younger kids they were wrong and that wasn’t the intent.
Finally, we viewed it, left, and played. I feel sometimes kids go to classes and always expect to come home with something in hand. And while I think that is nice sometimes, I wonder if I am setting them up that they always have to come away with a “project” instead of just “a fun time.”