Zen Garden project for Brown Owl Kindergarten, Hutt Valley

Brown Owl Kindergarten were recipients of a $500 grant from Hutt Minoh House Friendship Trust in March 2015 to help create a $1500 Zen garden.

They write: “Our newly completed Zen garden developed in consultation with one of our families is located in a previous "dead" area of our centre. We had a number of guiding principles that were key in the drafting of our outdoor development plan.  Celebrating cultural diversity and providing a place of solace and peace in our children's often highly stressed lives was crucial to this plan.

It is now an area enriched with subtly trickling water, smoothly rounded pebbles, larger stones of colour that change when touched by the water and young plants.
The children have been enjoying their exploration of this area, making observations and enjoying the sensory pleasures of the space.  When one of the teachers was calling the children in for Mat time at the end of the day, a child piped up whilst sitting in the Zen garden and said  “I’m just busy sitting here thinking” which shows they are already using the area as we intended.
In the future, we plan to sit alongside each other learning about Japan – the country and the culture from which this has been inspired.”