Shapes are a part of our daily lives. As an adult I don't go around seeing all the shapes around me, however the joy of teaching preschoolers is that when you start talking about a shape such as a circle, all of a sudden the world is filled with circles.
When we discussed circles a couple of weeks ago, one of the concepts we addressed was that in many cultures artwork done in a circle is called a Mandala, which is the Sanskrit word for circle. When we talked about Mandalas we talked about how it is an art form that is usually made as a healing or calming art. A lot of mandalas are temporary art forms, and once they are made they are then disassembled again, such as Tibetan sand mandalas. Their projects for the week were simple arrangements that the children made on a variety of circles and then they practiced drawing different circles.
These sensory experiences proved to be very calming indeed. I found that each of the children had their own unique way of working with the materials and creating patterns. They also were very much captivated by the experience.
The invitation to create
On one of the days we had large circles that the children added shapes and gems to.
I loved how they approached their use of materials.
Another day we worked with smaller circles. This little guy was a pro at making patterns with the materials.
Look at the focus on their faces.
That smile expresses how a simple and tactile experience can bring so much joy to children at this age.
After the children experimented with their mandala making, they then were given several different circle shapes to try and trace. Though I am not an advocate of tracing pictures, tracing shapes is a wonderful way to work on hand-eye coordination.
After they traced their shapes they were encouraged to draw around or in their shapes anyway they would like.