As soon as I saw the word “flags” I was taken back to Tibet 12 years ago where, surrounded by thousands of colorful prayer flags, I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
To say that visiting Tibet and hiking around the Kailash was incredible would be an understatement. What I learned about myself on that trip changed my perspective on the world and still impacts my life today.
Tibetan prayer flags typically carry mantras (sacred words) for peace, compassion, good fortune, strength or wisdom. They are an essential part of Tibetan buddhism and can be found over mountain passes and along mountain ridges. Tibetans believe (and so do I!) that these flags bless the air with their mantras and its messages of goodwill are carried with the wind and spread to the rest of the world.
What better way to have kids focus on positive thoughts and intentions than through a fun and inspirational craft? This project also teaches kids about color symbolism while sparking their curiosity about this unique culture. My 3 and 5 year-olds had a blast and came up with really cute ideas for their flags, from love and warm kisses to housing, water and food for all.
– rectangular pieces of recycled paper in blue, white, red, green, and yellow (or, for a more realistic look, use an old pillowcase, cut up in rectangular pieces and died in those same colors)
– markers, crayons, stickers (fabric paint if using fabric)
– Hole puncher (or hot glue or safety pins if using fabric)
Prayer flags traditionally come in five colors that depict the five elements and are always displayed in the same order:
- – blue for sky or space;
- – white for air or wind;
- – red for fire;
- – green for water; and
- – yellow for earth.
Start by talking to your kids about what the flags represent for the Tibetan people, where they can be found and the meaning of each color.
Ask your kids what message they would like to share with the world. Discuss what positive thoughts they think would be beneficial to the whole world: love, peace, tolerance, compassion, ice cream for all. 🙂
Encourage kids to draw images or symbols that represent their positive messages. Older kids might want to use words to express their intentions.
Punch holes at the top corners of each flag and lace flags together. Hang flags and share your family’s positive thoughts and intentions with the world!
And, if you can, do send me a photo for our facebook page!cultures, kid activities