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DIY Mini Mindfulness Garden

In the middle of busy days and weeks, why not pause and take time to tend a mini mindfulness garden? Based on the idea of a Zen garden this DIY sand and rock project is easy to make, and a good way to slow down your mind. To add an element of fun and kawaii (a Japanese term that means cute), this garden uses pastel colors and some not-so-scary dinosaurs. Japanese rock gardens or dry landscape gardens are often connected with Zen Buddhism, as they help create a way for people to meditate, especially while forming patterns in sand or pebbles. The designs, made with rakes, represent waves or ripples of water. Traditional gardens like this are large enough to walk through, but still considered miniature landscapes with lots of symbolism.

This mindfulness garden project is even smaller so you can bring the same peaceful sensory experience to your desk each day! Although not designed specifically with children in mind, kids will also love trying the rake to comb the sand or perhaps play with the dinosaurs. It's a lighthearted way to introduce them to the art of slowing down one's mind for a few minutes. The most essential elements of a Japanese rock garden, large or small, are the sand and rake, followed by rocks and other elements like plants or statues. This tutorial shows you how to make your own mini rake, as well as some cute plants and figures. You can easily swap out some elements to customize your desktop meditation garden. Each element of this DIY sand garden goes together fairly quickly, but they do need time for paint or glue to dry. You can work on the different pieces as you wait for others to set up. Now, let's get started!

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Paint Brush
  • 1 Craft Knife
  • 1 Sandpaper or Emery Board


  • 2 to 3 Small Plastic Dinosaurs
  • 1 Acrylic Paint
  • 4 Square Chopsticks
  • 1 Wood Glue
  • 1 Felt
  • 1 Craft Glue
  • 1 Small Tray
  • 1 Fine Sand or Aquarium Substrate
  • 15 to 20 Smooth Stones
DIY Mini Mindfulness Garden
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