This activity is a great way to get children to work together outdoors. To begin, we love foraging activities as a way for children to move their bodies, improve their focus, and notice what plants and objects are available in your closest natural environment.

Then, to make a mandala together is a great way to engage in a calming activity that also increases children’s ability to work on a collective art project.

Set up Time: 5 minutes


Go outside and forage for natural materials. Children can gather materials in little bags, baskets, or carts.

Gather your materials together and make mandalas. A mandala is a circular design that explores patterns and geometry. See the pictures above for some examples!


  • Natural collected materials (leaves, sticks, rocks, acorns, etc)

Learning Through Play

Social-Emotional: Self-Regulation – Working together on calming, collective art pieces is a great way to encourage children to work on cooperation. For example, with mandalas, one method is to work in layers. Children can decide together which material each later should be. For example, one ring could be made of leaves and the next of acorns.

Language: Conversation – Take time to talk to children about the details of the collected natural materials. Are the leaves big or small? Did you find anything that surprised you? What colors are the items you found?

School Readiness: Patterns – Working with mandalas is a great way to explore geometric patterns with children. This is particularly fruitful if you make more than one mandala, because you can observe the differences together. You can say “Oh, I see you used leaves and made a diamond shape, while I made more of a spiral”.

See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other art activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.