EC often finds falling asleep difficult. He lies there, sometimes for hours, trying to drift off. Which, obviously, gets very frustrating for him. We have tried everything to help him. Audiobooks, massages, calming music, meditation, you name it, we have tried it all. Then I was reading something about how calming sensory trays can be for children who are overly excited and/or tired. It happened to coincide with me having a kinetic sand tray out for BB. EC was playing with it before bed, but ended up with the sand all over his carpet. Not wanting him to worry about having to clean it up before bed, I changed it for a Zen garden. This was the sand isn’t malleable, therefore less likely to be spread across the floor.

Make sure you follow my sensory board on Pinterest for more ideas. Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

To make your own Zen garden you will need:

I found this tray at Ikea in the kitchen section! It is fabulous and long, making not only great for this Zen garden, but also for writing activities in sand.

To set up I filled the bottom up with a decent amount of sand, but too much that would make it spill over the sides. Then places some stones of different sizes in it.

I left it for EC on his desk. When I came back from Beavers with YC, I found him sitting at his desk playing with it while listening to his audiobooks.

zen garden

EC’s Zen garden this morning.

I asked him in the morning if it helped at all. He said it did help to calm and still his thoughts. Fingers crossed that his Zen garden will help. Of course, YC wants one now. Well back to Ikea I go.

If you liked this Zen garden be sure to check out my calming bottles and taste safe snow dough.

Pin for later:

Help little ones calm their minds before bed with this zen garden for kids.