SPARKLERS / Ready for learning

Mandala Colouring

A relaxing colouring activity to promote relaxation and calm.
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KEY COMPETENCIES:
ACTIVITY TYPE:

Print me!

Print a selection of mandala for children to choose from.

– Simple patterns: mandala one, two and three
– New animal mandala by Suzi & Binx: mandala four and five

Why we love it

When we are fully immersed in an activity and lose track of time, we call this ‘flow’ (also known as being ‘in the zone’).

Flow is highly correlated with happiness because it helps us stay present (mindful). People who experience this state regularly often develop other positive traits such as increased concentration and self-esteem.

In order for a flow state to occur, the activity should be voluntary, enjoyable and absorbing but not too challenging.

Kōrero

Kōrero about the creative activities your students enjoy. You’re looking for positive, ‘healthy’ pastimes (i.e. not shopping, playing on xbox etc!).

  • What do they like doing in their spare time?
  • What activities do they ‘lose themselves’ in?
  • If they had a day off, what would they do?

Get them to write down (or tell the person next to them) one or two of their favourite activities and how they feel when they do them.

Explain that when we do our favourite activities and lose track of time, this is called flow and it’s really good for us! A brain holiday that helps us relax.

What to do

Kōrero about or revisit the concept of flow. Some student may need to engage in physical activity before being able to relax and get ‘in the zone’. A quick game of Fruit Salad should do the trick!

Invite tamariki to select mandala one, two, three, four or five, along with some colouring materials, and let them know they’ll have about 15 minutes for the activity, and don’t need to fully complete it now.

Reinforce that the focus of this exercise is to relax and enjoy the colouring, rather than feel pressure to finish it. They’ll be able to do this at another time.

Encourage those who find it difficult. You may like to allow those who really struggle to do some quiet reading or drawing.

When you near the end of the time available, let students know you’ll be finishing in a few minutes but that they can take the worksheet home to finish (or give them some more time later in the day).

End by asking everyone to put their pencils down, and ask them how they’re feeling.

  • Could they use colouring (or a similar activity) to calm down?
  • When could they do this type of activity?

We recommend students get 15 to 30 minutes of flow-based activity a day.

Share the love

Nothing is more rewarding for us than seeing Sparklers in action – and we'd absolutely love to check out your students' Mandala Colouring. If you get a chance, send a few pics to: [email protected] Big thanks for all you do!

Keen for more?

Help students find flow with Chill Time or Musical Adventure.

Sparklers at Home

If you think it may be useful for whānau to also know the benefits of colouring in, simply copy and paste the following 'blurb' into an email or your home-learning programme as an introduction.

In the classroom we've been using mandala colouring, because it's an excellent strategy for relaxing and calming our bodies and minds - even for adults! When we are fully immersed in an activity and lose track of time (like we do when colouring in), we call this ‘flow’ (also known as being ‘in the zone’). Flow is associated with happiness because it helps us stay present (mindful). People who experience this state regularly often develop other positive traits such as increased concentration and self-esteem.

Sparklers at Home has the same Mandala Colouring options we've been using in the classroom, but adapted for home use. It would be great if you could encourage this with your child - have colouring in available and do it with them too. They will love this time with you. Note too - the Mandala Colouring activity gives details about other activities that encourage 'flow' - have a think about this and encourage these activities too.

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