Zentangle®, Art Activities, & Mindful Resources for Kids

Coloring Books For Kids

Drawing a Mandala (free mandala stencils)

We love drawing mandalas! I introduced my daughters to mandalas a few years ago and we’ve been drawing them ever since. Contrary to popular belief, mandalas do not have to be intricate or extremely detailed, especially for young artists. Most of Chloé’s mandalas consist of flowers and simple geometrical shapes. Like with most process art, the focus while drawing a mandala needs to be on the journey rather than the end product. As a result, you can encourage your child or student to focus primarily on the feelings they experience while creating the mandala itself, instead of striving to produce a polished art piece.

Click HERE to download 12 FREE mandala stencils 

Related: Flextangles – Paper Toys (free printable templates)

Mindfulness Activities For Kids

What is a Mandala?

The word mandala (pronunciation mon-dah-lah) means circle in Sanskrit and is representative of the belief that the universe is infinite. Creating a mandala is a spiritual ritual in Hinduism and Buddhism that reinforces the idea that everything in life is beautifully connected. We can observe mandalas through all aspects of life as seen in the sun, moon, community circles, friends, and family; all of which are representations of the word mandala. Mandalas are everywhere! They are the structures of our cells, our world, and our universe. While many mandalas exist naturally in our environment, we can create serenity, encourage reflection, and trigger relaxation by utilizing the mandala as a form of artistic expression. 

Coloring Books For Kids

For this tutorial, Chanel chose the mandala with the words, Love Yourself, which was inspired by our favourite K-pop band, BTS. The Love Yourself album series by BTS reinforces the importance of self-love, which is something that so many children and young adults struggle with. We’ve been practicing positive self-talk with the girls! So today, while Chanel creates her mandala, I’ve encouraged her to think about some of those statements that we’ve been practicing such as,  “I can do this,” and “I am enough just the way I am.” Practicing these positive thoughts  is a healthy coping strategy that every child and young adult should have in their toolbox for managing emotions. As well, Incorporating positive self-talk into art activities, like we’re doing today, provides another opportunity to anchor the habit, while bringing a little positivity to their day. 

Mindfulness Activities For Kids
Coloring Books For Kids

Related: Zentangles for Beginners (easy) – Mindful Art

3 Benefits of Creating Mandala Art For Kids

1. Drawing a Mandala Boosts Creativity

Mandalas are considered to be a free form of art, which allows children to openly express their creativity through it’s design. They can choose precisely which shapes and patterns to include in their mandala, even if they’ve never created one before.  There are many simple predesigned mandala patterns available to choose from but I encourage my children and students to utilize their own creativity and see what transpires. A good rule of thumb is to simply ask them to start by drawing a line or shape and see where it takes them. My students are often surprised by what they are able to design once they let their creativity flow. 

2. Mandalas are Meditative

While many children do not spend hours a day meditating, we can build meditative moments into their busy days, which will encourage them to pause and slow down. Their mandala does not need to be completed in one sitting. They can focus on creating 1 ring at a time, or 1 section at a time, depending on their level of engagement. You can play some relaxing music, while they focus their attention on each line and shape that they build into their design. Having these quiet, meditative, creative moments in your child’s life can help them deal and process emotions, plus it encourages them to be mindful. Once they get into a creative rhythm, creating their mandala can absorb their attention (even if it’s just for a few moments) and help them relax.

3. Mandalas are Therapeutic

Mandalas are often used in art therapy for children to help restore mental balance and process emotions. Since mandalas require a certain level of concentration, they allow the artist to focus on the creative process instead of ruminating on potentially negative or anxious thoughts. Mandalas in art therapy are often a reflection and visual representation of the creator’s emotional state. The shapes and colors that children choose to use in their mandala art therapy sessions will reflect their inner state, at the time of creation.  After designing their mandala, they will have a beautiful representation of their thoughts and emotions from that particular moment in time, which can be very liberating.

To learn about even more benefits of drawing a mandala on the mental health of children, take a look at this blog post here.

Related Blog Posts That Encourage Mindfulness

  1. Doodle Art – Easy Doodling (Mindfulness Activities)
  2. DIY Sensory Bottles – Mindfulness Tool
  3. Splatter art with Essential Oils – Anxiety Art

Here’s our YouTube video that will show you how to draw a mandala step-by-step.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Appropriate for all ages

For today’s art piece you’ll need:

  2. Micron pens (size: 005, 01, and 08)
  3. Cardstock 
  4. Ruler (optional)
  5. Watercolor paint, pencil crayons, pastel, or markers for coloring (optional)
Coloring Books For Kids
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 1 – Gather your materials

  1. Choose a tracer that resonates with you or your young artist. Print your tracer on cardstock if possible
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 2 (optional) – Trace your mandala stencil onto a piece of paper

  1. You can trace one of the mandala templates onto a piece of paper if you’d like to add more flexibility to your design. Tracing your mandala onto paper will allow you to create designs that can extend beyond 1 ring, without having lines go through it. 
  2. You can trace as many rings as you’d like depending on how big you’d like to make your mandala. 
  • If you are drawing your designs directly onto the mandala stencil you can skip to step #3
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 3 – Draw one shape in a ring around your centre point

  1. You can create your mandala using a copic pen, thin sharpie or fine tip pen, however younger children might be more comfortable drawing in pencil first and then tracing over their designs afterwards.
  • You could create a ring of triangles, flower petals, circles, any shape that inspires.
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 4 – Continue drawing concentric rings of shapes

  1. Draw a variety of shapes (ovals, petals, triangles, circles, you can even leave a ring blank)
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 5 – Relax and let flow take over

  1. You can put on some calming music or something classical, while you work on mandalas.
Coloring Books For Kids

Step 6 – Continue to fill in your Mandala Rings

  1. You can choose to fill in all of the rings completely or just the first few.
  2. Continue to add lines and patterns to your mandala
  3. If you traced your stencil, you can color your letters at this point.
Coloring Books For Kids
Coloring Books For Kids
Mindfulness Activities For Kids

*The next 2 steps are only applicable if you drew your mandala in pencil. If you drew your mandala in pen, skip to step 8.*

Step 7 – Trace over your design using a thin sharpie or pen

  1. If you drew your mandala in pencil, you can trace over your mandala in black or you can use different colored thin sharpies as well.
  • You can try using pens/sharpies with different weights, so you can create lines that are thicker or thinner. Varying the line weight will add depth and interest to your mandala.
  • If you’ve already drawn your mandala in pen/sharpie you can skip to step #8.

Step 8 – Erase your pencil Lines

  • Once you have completely traced over your pencil designs in sharpie, it’s time to erase the pencil lines that we drew in Step #2

Step 9 – Color Your Mandala (Optional)

  • You can color your mandala using pencil crayons, markers, watercolor paint, or any coloring tools that you have available. Here is one that my 7 year old daughter painted.
Coloring Books For Kids
Coloring Books For Kids

Drawing a mandala isn’t just for kids! I encourage both adults and children to try this tutorial because there are so many beautiful benefits. No artistic expertise required! I always say, just start with a simple line and see where that line takes you. You might be pleasantly surprised. There is also a plethora of mandala coloring books available now for both children and adults that focus primarily on fostering mindfulness and creativity. Here are a few of our favourites:

Please let me know how your mandalas turn out. I’d love to add your creations to our gallery, so upload your photos or send a message to [email protected] Thank you!


7 thoughts on “Drawing a Mandala (free mandala stencils)”

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you’ll give it try. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be artsy to experience the beautiful benefits. Thanks for sharing!

  1. Pingback: 41 Fun Quality-Time Activities to Do with Teens - Craftsy Hacks

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