These zen gardens for kids are so easy and fun to make! We used non-breakable containers and bright colors to make this project fun and kid-friendly. This is a great calming sensory activity for kids that you can customize with different colors and accessories.
They would also make great gifts! We love making homemade gifts to give to our friends and family like these watercolor bookmarks and these handmade coasters using pressed flowers and washi tape.
Make your own zen gardens for kids
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- Sand in any color
- Kid safe containers
- Items for your zen garden such as shells, rocks & crystals, driftwood, or other items of your choosing.
- Something to use as a rake. We used a mini back scratcher (which worked perfectly!), a wooden fork and made our own with wooden skewers (more on that below).
- Washi tape(optional)
Start your zen gardens for kids
1. Pick out your containers. We made sure to use containers that wouldn’t easily break. We chose a lid from a photo box, a photo scrapbooking container with a lid, which is great because you can close the lid and make it portable, and an old plastic plate that I used when my daughter was younger(a great way to use what you already have!).
If you choose to use a shallow cardboard box, you might want to tape around the bottom and sides to prevent the sand from leaking through.
2. Choose your sand colors. My kids wanted to use bright colors and luckily our local craft store had some in stock. I was hoping to find some sand at the dollar store, but no such luck!
If you use sand that you collect from the beach make sure to pick out all the debris, rinse it in a fine mesh strainer and let it dry completely before pouring into your containers.
3. Fill your containers, but don’t fill them too much. You want to be able to make designs in your sand with a rake and not have any sand spill out.
4. Choose your zen garden accessories. This is the fun part! We used rocks, crystals, and driftwood for our zen gardens. But you can choose to add any items your kids want. Mini statues or small toys, even air dry plants that are in more traditional zen gardens. Have fun placing your items in your containers.
5. Time for your rakes! The mini back scratcher and wooden fork worked great but I also wanted to make our own. We used mini bamboo skewers that are used for appetizers(and probably found at any grocery store) and wrapped them in washi tape. They turned out great and work really well!
6. Give your kids a chance to try out the different rakes and play around with drawing designs in their sand.
We love how our zen gardens for kids turned out! My daughter is currently using hers to draw pictures and write messages to me in the sand. 🙂
If you are looking for some more sensory activities take a look at our fun painting snow winter sensory activity!
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