Painting With Colored Sand. - The Magic Onions

Painting With Colored Sand.

One of my very favorite movies is Kundun. Watching it is a magical experience from beginning to end. I vividly remember the very first time I saw it… it opens with the Tibetan Monks painting with sand. They work for hours making the most beautiful image from colored sand. It’s huge, covering the entire floor… spirals, waves, twirls, blues, greens, yellows. It is a magnificent sight… and then, when it is finally finished, they open the huge wooden doors of the temple and let the wind sweep over the colorful floor, blowing their magnificent labors away. At first it is a terrible shock that all their work was for nothing, swept away, gone! But then you get a glimmer of the wisdom that is Tibet… that it is not the creation that is important but the creating. It is profound! Such a valuable lesson for all of us.
Last week we made wonderful colored sand. It was a fun, colorful activity… click on the link above if you missed how it is made.

hand dyed beach sand

Today we painted with our colored sand. We used the sand we colored last week, a glass dish a spoon, a funnel and a straw


We made our own sand dispenser by inserting our straw into the funnel. It was a little long for K to manage comfortably so we cut it to the right length.

Our sand funnel for painting with colored sand
We poured our yellow sand into the glass dish and K spread it evenly.
With a little shake of the glass dish from me, the sand was even and ready to be painted on.
K decided she wanted to create a rainbow. She drew a faint outline in the sand to guide her.
We filled up the funnel with purple sand, keeping a finger on the bottom of the straw to keep the sand in it.
Filling our sand funnel with blue sand for painting with colored sandThen K positioned the funnel over where she wanted the purple sand to go, removed her finger from the bottom of the straw and let the sand fall from it in the shape of her rainbow.
Painting with purple sandIt was very exciting to finally let the sand drop from the funnel and we giggled with abandon.
Then the blue rainbow arc.
Painting with blue sandThe pink.
Painting with pink sandFinally, the green.Painting with green sandIsn’t it pretty?
Painting a rainbow with colored sand
Of course, our rainbow needed some embellishment so K used a little stick to run the colors into each other.
Our rainbow painted sand
Isn’t it even more beautiful?!
Sand painting a rainbow with beautifully colored sandBut, alas, when I suggested we let Little Brother play in it (a simulation of the Tibetan winds) a loud cry of protest could be heard for miles around! Needless to say, it is sitting on our table now for all to admire.
Blessings and magic.
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. K is a wonderful artist, and you are a wonderful artist yourself, providing these wonderful opportunities for your children to create.

  2. Oh this is just lovely. What a pretty idea for using the sand you made last week. :)

  3. That is adorable. Can’t say I blame her for not wanting him to play in it right away. Maybe in a week or so, it was lose some allure for her and she’ll be ready to let it go.

  4. So pretty!
    We’ll have to make some rainbow colors when we get some lighter sand.

    I want to have some in a wooden box for me, for a zen garden. :)

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  6. It was a fun project. Lol, Stephanie… we made a Zen Garden yesterday… it’ll be tomorrow’s post. Great minds think alike!
    Blessings and magic.

  7. I knew you all would make something really neat! I love the final product for sure!!

    Jamie :)

  8. you are a beautiful mama : )
    i love the descriptions at the beginning of your post about the Tibetan Monks, such incredible beauty in their wisdom… Thank you for sharing this xo

  9. I also really love your description about the Tibetan monks creating. This is a lovely idea – painting with coloured sand. We will need to try this out!

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