Shell mandalas: math and art September 08 2014

These shell mandalas are a great lesson in math and mandalas for kids :: math and art

Shell mandalas

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! 

       things to do with shells 

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.sorting shells

Then all you need for a mandala is to make a start and let the patterns flow. A circle is a good shape to begin with…how to make a mandala

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

:: playing with a radius and circumference, even before you might know their namesshell mandala art

The finished shell mandala can be as big and detailed as you like.mandalas for kids using shells

It might have a flower shape, or be made of circles, or any design you mandala art

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.

 tiny mandala

More manadala designs to try

If you get hooked, you might like to try chalk mandalas made with flower petalsGreat ideas for making nature mandalas for kids. A beautiful outdoor art project


mandalas painted on tin foil... or play dough mandalas.7366399072_568a13a3c3