What is a Nature Mandala and Why Create Them?

by Cat Woods

A mandala is a beautiful, spiritual and simple way to explore nature creatively is to make a nature mandala with your kids.

What does the word mandala mean?

The word mandala is a Sanskrit term that means “circle” – in fact, a mandala is a circular structure with a design that radiates out symmetrically from a unifying centre. It is one of nature’s most perfect configurations.

Mandala Fact!

In ancient Tibet, as part of a spiritual practice, monks created intricate mandalas with coloured sand made of crushed semiprecious stones. Tibetan mandalas are often highly intricate illustrations of religious significance that are used for meditation.

Why Make a Nature Mandala?

When you make a mandala, much like when you draw or colour one, it’s a wonderful time to slow down and relax. During the process of making it you are concentrating on your design, and switching off from the usual things that race through your mind.

  • Making a nature mandala is an incredibly relaxing way to get creative outdoors.
  • It’s a wonderful way to connect with and learn about nature.
  • Look out for the circular and symmetrical patterns found in the natural world. Think about how these patterns reflect the circular patterns of the mandala!
  • Use the mandala as a way to give thanks to the Earth and all living things.
  • It’s a fantastic way to teach your kids about the different seasons and what you can find as things change!

To create your nature mandala, begin by placing a meaningful item in the centre. Then start placing other items you gathered or foraged near the centre first and continue moving outward from the centre until you’ve created a circular design. Continue making patterns until your items are used up and your nature mandala looks complete.

Take a picture to commemorate the moment, and leave the mandala within nature where you created it. The foraged items will return to the earth as part of the cycle of nature – but perhaps they might brighten up the day of any walkers who might come across them in the meantime!

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