Easy Mandalas

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Remember my Anatomy art projects for kids roundup? That was an idea from Aruna from Young Yoga Masters, who I am a huge fan of. (Of whom I am a huge fan?) Plus, she gives me awesome ideas- this post probably never would have happened with out her asking if I had any ideas for mandala projects.

Yay! I love digging in and researching ideas. I found a wonderful easy mandalas project on Incredible Art that we tried, and it’s a good one.

mandala art project for kids • Artchoo.com



  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors


First, a little info about mandalas. Mandala is a Sanskrit word loosely meaning circle. I assumed that mandalas were solely a Buddhist art form, but they have been created by people from different religions for centuries.

They are intricate, repeating geometric shapes that make up a circle. Abstract concepts can be difficult for kids to understand, but basically mandalas symbolize our universe, and the idea that everything in our universe is connected. Heady stuff!

I like kids making mandalas because they get a taste of design, proportion, and working with abstraction. Plus, they are meditative. And mathy. And beautiful.



  1. Trace a big circle on a piece of paper. We used a dinner plate.
  2. Cut out the circle carefully.
  3. Fold the circle in half.
  4. Fold it in half again.
  5. Fold it in half again.
  6. Conduct an impromptu geometry lesson, showing your child that the paper has been folded into eighths.
  7. Have them say the word ‘eighths’ 10 times fast.
  8. Instruct them to draw a design on one of the paper pie pieces, being sure that some of their lines touch the edges of their pie piece. (Try to keep it relatively simple if they are on the younger side.)
  9. Using the existing crease, fold the drawn pie piece over onto the piece next to it and rub with the edge of a bowl, a bone folder, the back of a spoon, whatever will transfer the pencil marks onto the blank pie piece.
  10. Fold these two over onto neighboring two pieces and repeat the rubbing process.
  11. Fold these 4 onto the blank 4 pieces and repeat the rubbing transfer.
  12. Cool, huh?
  13. Darken the transferred lines with pencil.
  14. Color the design in. It’s cool to watch them make their color choices.
  15. Mount on colored card stock (we used a glue stick.)

Mandala art project for kids • Artchoo.com

mandala art project for kids • Artchoo.com



  1. 04/24/2013 / 6:43 pm

    Thanks Jeanette! Your Mandalas turned out so beautifully. For me they are very pleasing to look at.

    And that’s a great idea to repeat 8ths 10 times fast – tricky.

    Great geometry tie ins too.

    Thanks again for being open to requests. Your answers are always so interesting.

    • 04/28/2013 / 9:04 am

      Thanks Aruna! I love getting your emails- keep ’em coming if you have more ideas…

  2. 04/26/2013 / 11:10 pm

    Many years ago I had the pleasure of watching a Buddhist sand mandala being created. It was an amazing experience.

    I haven’t yet introduced my son to rubbing/transferring pencil marks, so this is going to be great fun to do. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    • 04/28/2013 / 9:05 am

      How cool- that must have been amazing. Aruna told me about those in the email she sent me for this post, so I You Tubed some. So intricate, and then they’re just brushed away! To me, the pencil transferring was the most fun part of the project.

      • 04/29/2013 / 5:17 am

        It was. It really got me interested in transient art (and performance art), where the purpose of creating an artwork is the process rather than the completed product. It’s an interesting concept to wrap one’s mind around – how we form attachments to our creations; is it possible to let it go?

        I didn’t see the de-creation of the mandala, but the monks told us the process was almost as intricate as creating it – where the sand from each section would be collected in turn and then there would be a ceremony where the sand would be poured into a river so that the energy of the whole exercise would flow out into the country, to the ocean, and eventually the world.

  3. 04/27/2013 / 4:06 pm

    I didn’t realize it was so easy to create your own Mandelas. We usually get a print out to do them. I like your version much better!

    • 04/28/2013 / 9:06 am

      The print outs are really fun to just sort of space out and color in- we love those, too. The transfer part just gives this a little twist on thinking about the different shapes that make up the whole, I suppose!

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