Zany Zen Garden

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In this activity, learners will turn an ordinary tray of sand into a desk-top garden for meditation. Learners will explore design, mindfulness and patterns as well as develop fine motor skills and patience through this activity. Activity incudes step by step instructions with pictures, vocab words and definitions to use, fun facts related to the activity and ways to change it up extend the activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Sand
  • Shallow container or tray
  • Fork
  • Rocks, shells, small toys, flowers, etc.


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
    • Measurement
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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