Mandalas are wonderful. Our Universe is a giant mandala and I have discovered over the years the many benefits of painting or coloring mandalas either simply or in a complicated fashion. The benefits seem to be amazing and long lasting no matter what road you take. So I started using mandalas with children and it helps them focus, de-stress and relax very quickly. In this day and age of pressure and fast paced schedules for everyone that in itself is Wonderful!

     Mandalas are geometric patterns starting from a central dot, working outward in repetitive patterns integrating symbols and vibrant colors. A circle or a spiral within a circle is a universal pattern full of symbolic meaning and often very helpful in releasing stress in people of all ages.

     I found many resources for parents and teachers around mandalas for kids. To my surprise you can even go to YouTube and type in Mandalas for Children and they have instruction videos on how to do mandalas, and step by step instructions for teaching children how to do them.

     There is a wonderful website called www.hellokids.com that has over 248 free online coloring mandalas books that parents or teachers can download and print. This is also a great resource for Math and English exercises for all grade levels.

     I found another great website www.mandalascoloringmeditation.com that gives away a mandala coloring kit "Mandalas of Joy For Children". All the mandalas are free and you can print them out for your personal use or for your classroom. Another favorite website of mine for children is http://www.art-is-fun.com. It is filled with exercises and ideas including "how to draw a mandala" for kids of all ages.

     For the teachers out there I also found lesson plans already written up for both pre-school, elementary and secondary students. The Denver Art Museum is part of that group and has on display some extraordinary and colorful mandalas along with lesson plans for teachers to use with their students.

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