Thank you for visiting the home blog of Caliso Learning, a natural science-based business celebrating the beauty and ecology of our natural environments. Our goal is to connect you and your family with nature--actually, we want you to fall in LOVE with nature!

Here you will find nature-inspired articles and posts, family activities, personal stories, resources, and more--all with the goal to connect you with the benefits of nature for family fun and inspiration! Please enjoy and let us know what you like :) Follow us on Facebook for even more resources, more frequently!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Floating Mandalas

This weekend our family enjoyed a fun day at one of our favorite local preserves, Whitewater Preserve. I manned an ongoing workshop for their 2nd Annul Water Celebration event, where participants created beautiful floating mandalas made with natural items. Using stems, sticks, leaves, petals, and blossoms visitors arranged these colorful plant elements in a variety of patterns and designs to create their own, wonderful floating mandalas. Our youngest participant was 3 only years old! Mandala creators of all ages enjoyed this relaxing activity throughout the day.

A traditional mandala is an ancient circular design which typically represents the universe. It can also be a symbolic expression to connect with the "self." For our mandalas, we were hoping participants would connect with their creative self through nature.

This is a perfect summertime activity to try at home! All you need is a bowl of water, small dish towel, plant clippers or scissors, and some plant material from your yard like: flowers (to keep whole or for petals), leaves, sticks, seed pods, lightweight bark, etc. Anything natural that you discover will float! Experiment with different ways to use your materials, some of our participants ripped up petals into tiny pieces of "floral confetti" that added a delicate touch to their designs. Sticks were used in many different ways to add visual lines, accents, floral rafts, bridges, barriers and more in many designs. Even your tiniest mandala creator will be able to create something pleasing to the eye, not to mention have a great time playing with these treasures in the water!

Here are the mandalas created throughout the day (click photos for larger images):



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