A Copyrighted Activity Created by and Re-posted with Permission from Kristina Marcelli Sargent https://kristinamarcelli.wordpress.com
The participants will:
1. Be introduced to the art form of mandalas
2. Explore emotions and assign a color for each emotion
3. Reflect on their personal emotions and color in a mandala to represent the frequency of their emotions by using space and color
Kristina designed this activity for children but it can easily be adapted to all ages. It is an excellent way for the participants to explore emotions.
- Simple Mandala forms that can be downloaded off the internet ( and http://printmandala.com/ ) (http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/arts-culture/mandala)
- Crayons, markers, colored pencils
1. Allow your participants to select a mandala to color from among those you have printed off for the class.
2. Ask the participant to list the feelings they typically feel in the margins of the mandala and draw a small circle next to each feeling.
3. Have the participant pick a color for each feeling and fill in the circles with the colors to use a guide to remember which colors belong to which feelings, creating a “key”.
4. Invite the participant to color the mandala with the “feelings” colors they have designated to show how often they have specific feelings. For example, “Now you can start coloring. If there is a feeling you have a lot of in your life, color more of the picture with that color. If there is a feeling you don’t notice having very much, only color a little of the picture with that color.”
You’ll be amazed the things you will learn about the participant as they start to color! This can be very helpful to start conversations like, “I notice you only have alittle bit of green in your picture and that is your happy color. What can we do to get happier in your life?” Or “I notice there is a lot of red in your picture and that is your angry color. Thank you for being so honest with your feelings in this activity! I wonder--what are some of the things that cause that much anger in your life… What do you think?”
For older kids, teens and adults, print more complicated mandalas and allow them more than one meeting to complete if needed. If using colored pencils, older children, teens and adults can even rate intensity of feelings by how light or dark the color is, if they choose to assign meaning to the colors in this way. These are great for comparing over periods of time as well!
Works in Progress
Plan in Action:
Adrianne Poppe, Foster Care Recruiter, shared how this activity was used with youth served at “CEDARS” in Lincoln, NE. The mission of “CEDARS” is “to help children who have been abused, neglected, and homeless achieve safety, stability, and enduring family relationships”. Visit www.cedars-kids.org to learn more about Cedars
From Adianne: “Last week our Youth Action Committee held its “YAC Knows the Ropes” Mini Session Night! Youth within our Emergency Shelter, Foster Care, Reporting Center, Street Outreach and Independent Living Programs were invited to participate in the event. The youth were able to pick from 6 different session offerings lead by volunteers within CEDARS.
“This month our YAC Leadership Team chose to focus on the topic of Self Care and Stress Relief for our mini-session night. We went right to the resources that were given to use through the “Hildegard Center for the Arts’ “Art Bridges“ Project and the YAC Leadership Team decided to use 2 of the lesson plans as sessions for the evening. The “Zentangles®” and “Feelings Mandalas” lesson plans were session offerings and they turned out great! Twenty-three Youth were able to take home a booklet with examples of Zentangle® patterns, Mandala templates, a color wheel with assigned feelings and sketch books. Our hope is that the youth will take these lessons and be able to apply them to their lives! And I did see a glimmer of this coming to action just yesterday!! I was walking through our Emergency Shelter and noticed some computer paper on one of the tables in the common area with what appeared to some pretty awesome Zentangle® doodles on it!! Volunteers that lead the sessions found the lesson plans extremely easy to follow and were also able to put their own spin on it!”