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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Mini Zen Rock Garden

easy children's indoor activities Zen Rock Garden in the kitchenChillness has started encroaching upon weekends-spent-outdoors.

Time to line up indoor activities for Ana and Og - some stimulating, some relaxing, some creative, some silly, some physical, and some just-because...

This Zen Rock Garden is a relaxing activity to cache in the arsenal to battle the Cabin-fever syndrome induced by Nature doing her usual rounds.

The idea has been around for centuries obviously. And cosmos graciously arranged for a mommy and her daughter to share the simple joys of it first hand, using items usually handy in an average household.

Items used: A largish stainless steel plate (more surface area, the better), stainless steel fork, pasta scoop, Cream of Rice (Rice Idli Rava), rocks from the backyard (scrubbed clean); plus a lid or flat-bottomed container to erase and smooth out between patterns.

I guess the home movie above is self-explanatory.

After creating a design and arranging the rocks to satisfaction, Ana liked to smooth out the pattern and start over. This repetition added to the calming effect of the activity.

Substitute any size/shape tray or plate with lip/wall to minimize spills. Use sand if handy, else even cream of corn or anything else in the kitchen or garden with a sand-like texture which allows for the pattern to show up easily.

Fingers would work just fine, but, the appeal of using a mini rake or fork or pasta scoop/ladle is compelling, at least for Ana. I remember running my fingers through the plate of rice I used de-stone for my mom before she cooked it every day... but, I vaguely remember my mom not entertaining that, can't remember why - some sort of tradition/superstition handed down I am sure... Or merely to get me to finish the task on time to get the meal ready....

I scrubbed the rocks to my satisfaction but still prefer to save the used Cream of Rice in a separate jar with label so I don't accidentally use it for cooking. Plus, it is ready when Ana wants to assemble the items, pour, and start creating whenever she feels like it.

It would be interesting to see how Oggie takes to it when he is developmentally ready for this activity...

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At 12:55 PM, Blogger Praba said...

Lovely idea, Sheela. Heard of it. In fact, wanted to put one in the foyer by my Buddhas...Would have never thought of it as an activity for kids - definitely one to soothe the minds of little ones and grown-ups alike! I am going to try it on my girls. K has been very involved in rotimaking these days - which is a zen-ish moment for me and her! :-)

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Poppy said...

I never go away from your blog without getting inspired Sheela - you are truly amazing! And Ana even more so.

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playing/rearranging the Zen garden has such calming effect. I had this mini zen garden at my desk in my office . Anybody coming to my office would love to rearrange the stuff especially a desi play with it and scatter the sand all over the place and I lost almost half the sand from the sandbox thanks to this guy. But it never occurred to me to replace the fine sand with rava : ). Very good idea sheela.
I love seeing ana doing the craft projects. She does the projects with so much enthu and patience and she is so happy doing all the craft.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger Subhashree said...

Great idea. I'm sure brat will love it and I can already picturise baby squabbling to get her onto it too :)

At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linking you in my post - Subhashree

At 9:29 PM, Blogger mnamma said...

Reminded me of all the sand play during my childhood :) Looks like she made an animal pattern of some sort - couldn't get the name from the video. Very nice indoor activity.


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