We are beginning our conversation about circles, specifically mandalas. Each year, the Tracks (4 and 5-year olds) create self-portraits. Although the portraits themselves roll out in a similar way each year (they are, after all, about science and exploring the body through art) the backgrounds and the way the children dress their portraits varies. This year, inspired by my neighbor Mark Swidler and his exhibit of carved styrofoam cups at American Visionary Art Museum's All Things Round I wanted to think about placing mandala-inspired shapes behind the portraits. Let's get rolling!
We looked at videos of mandalas -- especially ones that featured the mandala form in nature. We looked for mandala-like patterns in the classroom, finding them on shirts and dresses! Then the children revisited their neutral hue easel paintings, tracing a circle using permanent marker and got to painting! These painted circles seem to beckon like some far off planets.