Shell mandalas: math and art September 08 2014
What to do with a bucket of shells? One art idea we return to often is making mandalas, but we’d never made one from shells
before. Time to give it a try!
We started by sorting out our shells into groups, matching by shape, colour and sizes. This is a good opportunity to look at the fine details on the shells, and to talk about which creatures used to live in them.
and you can build it up from there, using any colours, patterns and shapes that suggest themselves to you.
Combing math and art
As you’re making your mandala your brain is working with lots of mathematic ideas. You are:
:: counting, and making repeating patterns
:: comparing sizes and finding sizes that match
:: mathing things that are bigger than or smaller than the shell you are placing
:: working with fractions as you place matching shells a quarter and half way around your circle
But beware – mandala-making is catching! You might find yourself making mini mandalas on the kitchen table, using tiny stones
you’ve hidden in your pocket.
More manadala designs to try
If you get hooked, you might like to try chalk mandalas made with flower petals…