Nov 202014

Practificing Mindfulness for Kids: Spot Sitting {A Year in the Secret Garden} |

I am so thrilled to be taking part in the book tour for the magical new book A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters.  The Secret Garden on which it is based is a classic of children’s literature, whose appeal spans the generations.  My grandfather related to me how he would read it to his mother in the evenings as she washed the dishes, and I like to continue that parent-child bond now by sharing this favorite book with my sons, aided by this wonderful new guide.

So much of the wonder of The Secret Garden is that the reader watches along with Mary and Colin as the garden gradually comes back to life.  It is a lesson in patience and in learning to appreciate subtle changes.  The authors of A Year in the Secret Garden mimic this progression by structuring their book around the months of the year.  For each month, there are special activities, recipes, crafts, and characters related to the book for the reader to explore.  As the garden grows, so does the reader’s understanding of the world of The Secret Garden.

As part of the blog tour for this wonderful book, I am focusing on the month of May.  I was instantly drawn to the activity spot sitting, which is a wonderful way for children (and adults!) to practice mindfulness.  It relates to the outdoor sensory activity I did with Monkey and his friends last spring, so I drew on that for this exercise.

Monkey and I sat in our backyard one day, and I explained the concept of spot sitting: sitting still in a quiet spot and really paying attention to what is happening around you.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  What do you feel?  Allow your thoughts to follow your senses and enjoy delving deeper into the natural world.

Practicing Mindfulness for Kids: Spot Sitting {A Year in the Secret Garden} |

Practificing Mindfulness for Kids: Spot Sitting {A Year in the Secret Garden} |

For my active little Monkey, this was a real change of pace!  It’s fine if your child can’t sit still for very long – this will come with practice.  Right now it’s more about planting the seed and teaching them that there are different ways of being in the world – sometimes we’re running and jumping and playing, and sometimes we’re still and observing.  Both are great!

I highly recommend A Year in the Secret Garden for adults and children to explore together.  It is a wonderful tool to learn about literature, history, culture, but also to build the bond between parent and child, just as my grandfather did so many years ago, to the gentle sound of his mother’s washing.

A Year in the Secret Garden - Blog Tour Button


About the Book

A Year in the Secret Garden - cover

Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.

Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads


About the Author: Valarie Budayr

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website,, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure.

She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.


Book Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads


About the Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters

Marilyn Scott-WatersMarilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website,, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.

She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).

Website | Facebook | Google+


A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule (2014)


November 1

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)

November 2

Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

Hope to Read (Excerpt)

November 3

Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)

Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)


November 4

BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)

Books, Babies and Bows (Book Review)

November 5

Monique’s Musings (Book Review)

November 6

SOS-Supply (Book Review)


November 7

Randomly Reading (Book Review)

November 8

Adalinc to Life (Book Review)


November 9

100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

November 10

Edventures With Kids (Book Review)


November 11

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Book Review)

November 12

Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)


November 13

Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)

November 14

Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)


November 15

Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Purple Monster Coupons (Excerpt)

November 16

Stacking Books (Book Review)


November 17

Oh My Bookness (Book Review)

November 18

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Book Review)


November 19

The Blended Blog (Book Review)

November 20

All Done Monkey (Book Review)

November 21

Geo Librarian (Book Review)

Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)


November 22

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 23

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Book Review)

My Life, Loves and Passions (Book Review)

November 24

Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)

Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking (Book Review)


November 25

Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

November 26

Jane Ritz (Book Review)

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 27

I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (Book Review)


November 28

Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)

November 29

Mommynificent (Book Review)

November 30

This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)

Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)


* $100 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: December 7, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
MDBR Book Promotion Services a Rafflecopter giveaway

  11 Responses to “Practicing Mindfulness for Kids: Spot Sitting {A Year in the Secret Garden}”

  1. This is a wonderful review, and I’m already intrigued that I would love to read it! I also liked how you focused on “spot sitting”, and how I may try that with my very active little one. Thanks!

    • It is such a beautifully done book! I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of it – so much more to explore! And yes, I really want to make “spot sitting” a regular practice for us!

  2. I love that second photo of your son – that would TOTALLY be my son! lol I do think it is important to teach our children about mindfulness. They are so used to constant stimulation (as are adults) that I don’t think we realize the pace at which we operate on a daily basis. Great skill to have! So glad you enjoyed the book and I hope you have fun with all the wonderful activities! Thanks for taking part in the Blog Tour!

    • Thank you for setting this up, Renee! I have really been enjoying the book. The spot sitting is something I plan to make a regular part of our routine – such a nice change to just sit and observe and really slow down for once – great for kids to learn this early on!

  3. Thank you Leanna for this wonderful look at spot sitting with your little one. He is simply adorable. Spot sitting is still practiced here in my family. Each of us has our favorite place in the yard where we just sit and ponder or yes and spot. It’s a great way to feel the seasons change as well as getting centered.

    Wishing you many wonderful moments inside the pages of A Year in the Secret Garden. Thank you for being a part of the blog tour and for your lovely review !!!


    • Valarie, thank you so much! Spot sitting is a new practice for us but one we will definitely continue. Thank you for A Year in the Secret Garden – we will be enjoying it for years to come!

  4. It looks like a wonderful book!! I will have to check it out. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  5. I love the idea of spot sitting and mindfulness in children!

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