Peace Garden

What you need:

  • Flower box
  • Soil
  • Flowers or flower seeds
  • Wire or wooden popsicle stick
  • Cardboard or small wood sign
  • Spade or small shovel
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Butterfly on a wire (optional)

What you do:

  1. Ask your child to become as still as they can and to sit up nice and tall. Guide them to close their eyes or look down.
  2. Ask them to take a few deep breaths into their belly.
  3. Guide them to return to normal breathing, and ask them to imagine a butterfly in their mind, gently flying around them.
  4. Guide them to imagine the butterfly landing gently on their left toes. (Pause.) Ask them to notice how their toes feel.
  5. Tell them that the butterfly now lands on their right toes. (Pause.)
  6. Invite them to imagine the butterfly landing softly on their belly. (Pause.)
  7. Guide them to imagine the butterfly landing on their shoulder and that their shoulders are very relaxed. (Pause.)
  8. Ask them to imagine the butterfly gently floating and flying away.
  9. Ask them to come back to the feeling of their breath, and then ask them to open their eyes.
  10. Ask, "What was that like for you? What did you notice? How do you feel?"
  11. Ask your child, "When do you feel peaceful? What are some practices that you have learned that support peace? How can you share peace with others?"
  12. Ask, "What goes into a garden?" Build on their answers and share your thoughts about what goes in a garden.
  13. Explain that they will be making a "peace garden" that represents all that they have learned about peace, mindfulness, and caring for themselves and others.
  14. Show your child the flower box, soil, seeds, and other materials.
  15. Have them help fill the flower box with soil, leaving four inches of space from the top of the box.
  16. Have your child help place the flowers on top of the soil. (You may also plant seeds in your soil, if you do not have flowers.)
  17. Together with your child, fill the space around the plants with soil. Pat down the loose soil.
  18. Water your plants or seeds.
  19. Draw and cut out a 4” x 2” rectangle on the cardboard. (If you have a small wooden sign, this could be an option, as well).
  20. Write "Peace Garden" on the rectangle or wooden sign.
  21. Glue this sign to a popsicle stick or piece of wire.
  22. Place your "Peace Garden" sign inside the soil in your flower box. Place your butterfly in the soil (optional).
  23. Take a moment to look at the beautiful garden box you have created together, and take a few deep breaths.
  24. Ask each other, "How do you feel as you look at your flowers and peace garden?" Share and discuss your answers.
  25. Place your flower box in a place where it is visible to remind you of the mindfulness tools you have learned and what peace means to you.
  26. Discuss what it means to share peace. Share your reflections with the rest of your family and show them your peace garden!

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