Jo Jacks Travel

Lotus Flowers and Elephants Crafts – Buddhism for Children

Here are some fun crafts to do with children related to Buddhism and some of its symbols – the lotus flowers and elephants.  Easy Lotus Flower Craft

During our incredible family vacation to the beautiful  Sri Lanka, we learned that Buddhism is their largest religion and has a devout following. Everywhere you go you will see temples, statues of Buddha, and images of lotus flowers and elephants.

Lotus flowers and elephants

Lotus Flowers and elephants – Buddhist symbols

About The Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower and Elephant

Lotus Flower offerings, Kandy

This is one of the most beautiful symbols of Buddhism. The lotus flower grows in murky muddy waters and rises up to become a beautiful flower. This symbolizes a person’s life in a murky world full of suffering, and how it is possible to rise above the pain and attain enlightenment through good deeds and pure thoughts.

Lotus Flower Coffee Filter Craft

lotus flowers and elephants crafts

Lotus Flower Craft

This is an easy and beautiful craft to do with children as young as 2.
1. Take 4 round coffee filters. Fold in half and then in half again (like making snowflakes) cut petal shapes.

2. Unfold the filters and lay flat.  Using a bright pink marker (lotus flowers can also be yellow, blue, purple, white and gold) color in the coffee filters, making sure to have each petal well marked.

lotus flower craft

3. Spray with water a few times – just enough to have the color spread but not too much that it all washes out. Leave to dry flat.

lotus flower craft

4. After 15 minutes place two of the flowers over a small bowl to dry. You could spray with liquid starch at this point to make them extra stiff. This will make the petals of these flowers stand up.

lotus flower craft   lotus flower craft

5. After they are all dry, place the two flat flowers on the bottom and the two raised flowers on top with a small dab of glue in the middle of each so they stick together.

6. In the very middle put down some liquid glue. Crumple up pieces of yellow paper into small balls and stick into middle. A yellow bottle cap could look nice here too. Or yellow fuzz balls could work. Viola!

lotus flowers and elephants crafts  lotus flowers and elephants crafts

Are you as obsessed with lotus flowers as I am?  Find my free printable Lotus Flower Dot2Dot coloring sheet here.Free Printables Lotus flower dot2dot

About Ceremonial Elephants

Elephants are used in Buddhist religious processions and ceremonies. In Kandy, somewhere between July and August they celebrate the festival of the sacred Golden Tooth relic (timing based on Lunar calendar).

Credit: Farhorizons.com

Credit: Farhorizons.com

For this celebration the golden tooth relic is put into an ornate golden box, which is then placed onto the back of a tusker elephant. The elephant is decorated beautifully in a jeweled gown with small lights. These illuminated ceremonial elephants are revered in Sri Lanka and treated very well. One elephant that died after serving the temple for 40 years had his own display house at the Temple Of the Sacred Golden Tooth Relic.

 

A tusker we saw on safari in Udawalawe

A tusker we saw on safari in Udawalawe

Elephant Craft

lotus flowers and elephants crafts

This is another excellent way to teach children about Buddhism, and it is a universal truth that children love elephants.

1. Using the same elephant craft example from my previous posting, cut out the pieces for a face, trunk, ears, and tusks. This time instead of painting grey, paint it all (except tusks and eyes) a bright color like red or yellow.

lotus flowers and elephants crafts

2. After it all dries, glue together the pieces. Using sequins or metallic paints add on the jewelry. Explain to the children that the elephant wears a pretty dress for the parade.

lotus flowers and elephants craft

lotus flowers and elephants crafts

 

Religious Books – Beyond Lotus Flowers and Elephants

I am a firm believer in teaching children about other religions as a way to build tolerance, respect, and general knowledge of the world. Here are some excellent resources:

This is a great all-around book for learning about the world’s religions:

religions

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This is a gorgeous book more specifically related to Buddhism:

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Did you enjoy these crafts?  I would love to hear from you in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.  No extra cost to you, but it helps us travel, craft, and blog.

For more information on family travel in Sri Lanka:

Top 8 Travel Musts for Families in Sri Lanka

Udawalawe National Park Safari with Children

Four Religions to Learn about in Sri Lanka

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