spirograph mandalas

one of my favorite activities as a child was the spirograph. luckily, they still make these things! (only ours is called mystery spin doodle.)

mandalas, which we’ve done a post about before, are a symbol of wholeness, and as an art therapist, i’ve come to adore them and their healing properties. a spirograph produces a circular image that is much like a yantra, which is the hindu form of a mandala (mandala is traditionally a buddhist term) that is comprised of intricate geometric patterns.

(this one was done by momma)

N had i had some fun this morning trying out the spirograph with different materials. first, she tried it with colored pencils. they need to be very sharp in order to fit through the small holes in the gears. we broke a lot of pencil tips, actually…

i like the pastel look of her pencil one.

so we switched to the 3 markers that came with the kit (that have narrow and long ink tips to fit through the holes.) we were able to add in a few of the markers we had, but not many fit through the holes. N made a couple more mandalas with markers. the smaller gears are easier for little hands to coordinate with keeping it against the edges. i had to help her hand guide the larger gears (which are the ones that produce the images closer to the center.)

N loved the purple one and had the urge to draw a guy in the middle of it right after she began it.

this is what happens after the gears come off… lots of marker scribbling, but it still looks so cool contained within the circle.

we had a great time making these lovely geometric mandalas together…



printer friendly printer friendly
  • Oh, we haven’t used ours in awhile. I think I’ll put that on my summer list of crafts. They love making the cool designs and being the daughter of a Geometry teacher I love analyzing the designs when we’re done.

  • one of my few memories of spending time at my maternal grandmother’s was playing with one of these. I can’t say I have seen them around, but might take a look for one as I really loved doing them when I was younger.

  • jen

    click on the image the bottom of the blog – they’re selling them on amazon.com! 🙂

  • what a fun activity! I need to get my girls one of those… they would love it!

  • Oh I used to love to do these too when I was a kid! Fun!

  • Spirographs used to be my favorite toy growing up. SO much fun!

  • Pingback: Build Creative Thinking Skills with Circular Patterns | TinkerLab --- Creative Projects for Kids()