Labyrinths in Places

Labyrinths are found in many places. Some are permanent and some are brought in temporarily for events. The challenge for labyrinth enthusiasts is often how to get permission to introduce a labyrinth into a specific environment. This section of the website examines some of the places where labyrinths may be found, the benefits of having them there, how they are used, and how people were able to install them there in the first place!

Taking the labyrinth experience to school children

Taking the labyrinth experience to school children

We know that labyrinths have blossomed in schools across the United States in the past 10 or 15 years. In addition, as of May 2012, there are 12 school labyrinths in 8 countries listed in the World Wide Locator. No doubt there are many more around the world.

Why are labyrinths thriving in schools? Children respond immediately to the pattern of a labyrinth. Of course, they first want to race to the middle and out again as fast as they can, but with training they can also use it for such things as dealing with grief, problem solving, conflict resolution, building community and celebrating joyful events. Many teachers have found ways to use the labyrinth to enrich learning experiences.

There are also many TLS members working with children and labyrinths. Some of those have summarized their work below. They would welcome questions and comments about their work.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:

We have built labyrinths and developed programs at 14 elementary schools in Santa Fe, NM. Staff and students were introduced to the labyrinth with a Power Point presentation, timeline, world map and discussion. Benefits have included calming, improved creativity, conflict resolution, problem solving, dealing with loss, and fun! I have written a Manual for bringing the labyrinth experience to a school. It is available to download on our web site: Labyrinth Resource Group. Our group has produced a book and DVD called “Kids on the Path” which includes the manual, curriculum ideas and directions for building labyrinths (thanks to Cheryl Andrews). It is available for purchase on the web site. For more info contact Marge McCarthy.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL/ART PROJECT:

I am an artist and coordinated a Finger Labyrinth project for an art enrichment program in elementary schools in the South Bay of Los Angeles. The labyrinths were made out of air-drying clay and painted. The lower grades made spiraling designs - snails, hearts, waves, etc. The upper grades learned how to create a Cretan Labyrinth using the seed pattern. This project informed 4,000 children about the labyrinth. For more info contact Annemarie Rawlinson.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:

While a teacher at Lower Southampton Elementary School in Feasterville, PA. I facilitated an annual Peace Week.  Featured along with many other activities, students were trained in using the "Peace Maze," a rainbow colored seven circuit labyrinth.  The labyrinth was painted on the playground and displayed the language of conflict resolution at each turn. Since then, I have duplicated the "Peace Maze in the other elementary schools in the district as well as schools in other states. 

For more info contact Connie Fenty.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:

Here at Ispiritual Labyrinths we worked with one 2nd/3rd grade teacher, by furnishing a classroom set of finger labyrinths. Her students sent us letters on what the labyrinth meant to them. Although this wasn't an official study it's a start at reaching children with the labyrinth. For more info contact Rita Caroni and visit the iSpiritual website.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL/ART PROJECT:

Through the Washington Performing Arts Society, I introduced labyrinths to elementary school students. Children use finger labyrinths, walk a canvas “Rainbow Labyrinth,” use drums, and make “Walking Rules.” They pattern multi-media designs in “Labyrinth Books,” and together paint a 12' concentric labyrinth, writing and walking peace wishes. For more info contact Sandra Wasko-Flood and visit the Labyrinth Lights website.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, TEENS & CENTERS, MUSEUMS, HOSPITALS:

I have worked with schools, teen centers, museums, & children's hospitals in building labyrinths, using finger-labyrinths, and assisting children of all ages, parents, and staff members in discovering this rich symbol in diverse ways. I use history, art, and experience to bring the labyrinth to others. For more info contact Lea Goode-Harris, Ph.D and visit the Santa Rosa Labyrinth Foundation website.

SPECIAL NEEDS - CULTURAL DIVERSITY EDUCATION:

I work in culturally and educationally challenged environments, and with special needs children using single and double-labyrinth exercises to help children touch their creative sides, and stimulate their imaginations.   I will partner with any existing group that works with children in an inner city or Reservation environment to integrate their culture into the use of labyrinths.   I provide guidance and mentoring also, for the adults and teachers, on how to use the labyrinth to encourage and stimulate the children’s needs for exercise of the body and mind, and for them to develop innovative programs; advocating the building of walkable labyrinths on playgrounds for recess; and distribute labyrinth patterns for their free time, for tracing with their fingers.  For more information, contact
Virginia LoneSky or visit the Peaceful Endeavours website.

AGES 3-18, EDUCATION:

Kindergarten through Adult: I have had the extraordinary opportunity to present the labyrinth in a variety of schools in Las Vegas -- a Muslim school, a high-risk adult school, private and parochial schools and inner-city schools. I would be happy to discuss my presentation, the interesting teacher/student reactions and the resulting long-term labyrinth activities. For this and information on how to take your labyrinth program into schools contact Gael Hancock.


Photos by Ruth Streeter, Arlington, VA