Easy Mini Zen Gardens

During the first couple of weeks back at school, I noticed that the zen garden in my office was by far the most popular item. All of the kids and adults gravitated toward it the second they walked in to my office. This worked out well during COVID times because it’s easy to wipe down the rakes or swap them out between students. Some of my students were asking to come use the zen garden throughout the day, but this wasn’t always easy to schedule or provide to them when they needed a moment. So I grabbed some supplies to make mini zen gardens that I could put in classrooms for students to use anytime as a calm corner activity. Keep reading to see how I made them:

Looking for an easy to make calm corner activity? Set up these quick mini zen gardens for your students to use in the classroom or counseling.

Calm Corner Activity: Mini Zen Gardens

Supplies:

Looking for an easy to make calm corner activity? Set up these quick mini zen gardens for your students to use in the classroom or counseling.

I grabbed a pack of 24 photo boxes (the ones I bought are currently out of stock, but these are identical) for the garden container. I thought these would be easy to use since they have lids and would mean easier transport, and that’s definitely true! I just don’t recommend turning them on their sides by placing them in the carrying case. Some sand might slip through the sides. I keep mine flat on the shelf.


Next, I bought a 5-pound bag of fine-grain sand to use for these. I went with blue because it looked calming to me. There are lots of colors available, though! This 5-pound bag allowed me to make 21 zen garden boxes.


Finally, I bought a pack of rakes to use in the gardens. I had to look for a bit to find some that would actually fit inside the boxes because most were too long. This pack fits perfectly and has a nice variety of types of rakes. I just put one rake in each box, but you could include multiple to offer students options.


That’s it! I just put sand and rakes in each one. You could include small stones or shells in your zen gardens as well if you want. These are great to keep in the classroom, use as a calm corner activity, or provide to individual students to use for calming time in the classroom. Get all of the supplies here:

Looking for an easy to make calm corner activity? Set up these quick mini zen gardens for your students to use in the classroom or counseling.

Also check out these individual STEMpathy boxes I put together for my students using the same photo boxes!

Looking for an easy to make calm corner activity? Set up these quick mini zen gardens for your students to use in the classroom or counseling. Great for school counseling calming activity or calm corner tools. Use these for coping skills and calming strategies in the classroom or in school counseling.

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