Technically speaking, Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism originating with Sidhartha Guatama around 500 B.C. This Indian prince gave up his life of riches to seek enlightenment and when he did he became known as Buddha. Nowadays, some people practice Zen as a religion, some as a philosophy. Either way, meditation is at the center of Zen, with the goal of discovering one’s truest self.
And who better to look inward than children, who, by nature, approach life from a self-focused perspective? From personalized backpacks and tee-shirts to sleeping bags and stationary, kids delight in seeing their names anywhere and everywhere! But how can we help them dig deeper, to understand and protect the essence of who they are and what makes them unique and special?
Enter our personalized paper lunch bag craft, Zen and the Art of Papercrafting. Using a kaleidoscope of paper materials in a variety of colors, textures, and weights, as well as embellishments like googly eyes, pompoms, beads, ribbons, stones, and gems, kids will create custom lunch bags, designed to represent their truest selves. They’ll choose each piece carefully, as they’ll be asked to share their bags with the group, communicating why they chose the materials they did and how their design represents their inner selves.
Download a complete lesson plan for this project, including images, step-by-step directions, and a materials list, and help your students get zen today.
For Grades 1-3.