Disclaimer..This is NOT sponsored in any way…paid for ourselves.
cMOE (Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville) in Evansville, IN had a workshop in May, 2013 you could sign up for to make art with Tibetan Monks. This was being offered thanks to Bodyworks Massage Institute (a massage therapy school and business). The cost was $15 per person and included admission to the Museum as well. We thought this would be an interesting experience for the kids.
The information I saw was these were monks from the Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Dehradun, India. They were working with or staying with the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana. They were touring the United States to help raise funds for their monastery. They offered this children’s workshop, but also had some workshops at Bodyworks for meditation and Dharma teaching.
The art the kids would learn about was:
Here is a blog post I found showing some examples of Butter Sculpture.
Butter and kids not an ideal combination so instead it was modeling dough. The kids enjoyed learning how to make flowers, snakes, and dinosaurs. The Monks had as much fun making dinosaurs for the kids and playing with the dough themselves. The monk next to my daughter didn’t speak English, and she being in Speech Therapy isn’t the clearest speaker, but they still worked together and learned without words. Some Monks spoke English and would help translate when needed. They found The Girl to be amusing. It is probably because she is so animated and chattering.
Here is a blog post showing the art they make with sand. I was told that they destroy their work after it’s done if it’s for a ritual, but if not it can be preserved and kept. The detail is amazing and takes so many hours if not days and weeks to make one!
This was my favorite! You fill the one brass cone with sand and rub it with the other one on its ridges. This makes the sand come out slowly so you can control where it goes. It requires patience, and I was impressed The Boy took to it like he did.
Somehow I don’t have photos of these, but they had construction paper squares in Blue, White, Red, Green, and Yellow. On each they stamped a horse with symbols (pretty sure) that symbolizes luck. I found this blog post that explains Prayer Flags.
The kids also colored pictures that told about Tibetan Monks. The Monk, Palden, signed his name for the kids. There was discussion about why his name looked so different than how they write their own. The kids had no idea what the true colors of anything should be. I would love to know what the Monks thought of their interpretations.
One of the very nice Monks took some of the pictures for us. Another recorded my daughter with his smart phone to show her a video of her making the sand art. It was a very quiet and relaxing environment. Little needed to be said. I really enjoyed communicating without relying on words so much.