Create your own outdoor ponder patch

A ponder patch is a space that you go to for the purpose of enjoying nature. A place where you can be in the moment and watch the world around you.

When we take a bit of time to quietly sit and watch nature, it’s amazing what we notice. Research shows taking time out in nature is a really great way to reduce anxiety and stress, whilst giving you a quick fix of vitamin ‘N’ (nature), making us more focused and happier. So grab a drink and find a ponder patch, even just for five minutes a day.

Watch the video below made by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) to find out more.


What you will need:

  • A quiet spot in nature like your garden, a favourite walking spot or even your front doorstep
  • At least five minutes to spend outside
  • Make it comfortable if you wish with a seat, a cushion or a cuppa

How to create a ponder patch:

  1. There is no definite way or formula. The important thing is taking five minutes outside.
  2. You don’t even need to be still if this doesn’t suit you. If you prefer your patch can be where you walk, the place you get to know during your visits.
  3. Try thinking about your senses when your in your ponder patch; to help try our 5,4,3,2,1 suggestions (5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste). It’s amazing what’s there when you stop to take notice. This is a great grounding exercise and helps with anxiety and stress.
  4. Theme your ponders – seasonal changes, the birds visiting the feeder, different colours and smells of flowers, follow a bee buzzing around flowers, look at the clouds and the shapes they make or simply enjoy the fresh air and warmth of the sun on your skin.
  5. Repeat as often as you like. Become aware of your body and how you’re feeling and you’ll get to know when you need some vitamin N.



This activity has been created in partnership with SCLD and Scottish Badgers
as part of Scottish Learning Disability Week and Mental Health Awareness Week.
 Visit Let’s Notice Nature – Environmental education for all for more wild wellness ideas and activities

Share your experiences using #DiscoverLearnPlay

Time to complete

10 mins

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Health and wellbeing (mental; physical)

Sciences (biology; ecology; natural history)


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