Mandalas made from horses--who knew? They're basically the perfect mandalas for kids. I've occasionally offered mandalas to the girls to color, because they're so great for those little minds and hearts (So contemplative! So complex! So immersive!), but the girls just never could engage themselves in the abstract patterning.
Horses, though? Now THAT is something that my kids can engage in!
Although the girls both played with crayons and colored pencils and Crayola markers, their favorite tool for coloring these mandalas is--big surprise!--my nice set of fine-point Sharpies:
I eye their use of my Sharpies with narrow-eyed suspicion, since their points are delicate and there have been...incidents...but to the girls' credit, they have much better fine motor skills now, and a much better respect for pricey art supplies. Nevertheless, especially now that the girls have also begun to ask for my even pricier Faber-Castell Pitt pens, I'm eyeing the sales and setting aside money in the homeschool/crafts budget to buy duplicates of the art supplies that I'm fondest of, myself, so that I don't have to clench my jaw and share.
Notice how each unicorn in the mandala is very different? Sydney created them intentionally to be unique, and each unicorn has its own name--Ocean, Green Grass, Fire, and Pink Flower--and its own magical powers, and she now sometimes incorporates the idea of them into her imaginary play, embodying one of the unicorns herself or assigning one of her more mundanely-colored toy unicorns to play the roles.
It's almost like she re-invented the four elements of ancient times and is now exploring them through play.
If one of the elements had been represented in hot pink, that is.