Noticing the parallels between plant nature and human nature helps us appreciate the ways we, too, thrive when we receive and give nurturing. In this activity, setting an intention with your child before planting herb seeds connects you to the potential to grow compassion for ourselves and others.

Like a tiny acorn that can grow into a mighty oak tree, seeds remind us that everything we need already exists within us. We need to create peaceful, supportive conditions in which the seed — and we — can grow. 

While our kids probably receive support from others, like parents, teachers and friends, they can also learn to give themselves what they need through intention, positive mindset and self-compassion. Practicing compassion through these habits builds resiliency and the capacity to have compassion for others. 

We recommend planting herb seeds, as they grow relatively quickly, invigorate the sense of smell and can be used in cooking or making tea. Encouraging your child to set an intention as you plant the seeds, saying a positive affirmation each time they water their plant and finding joy in the growing are all ways to nurture compassion within and for themselves. 

When the plant is ready, plant it together in a garden for others to enjoy or gift it to a friend, family member or local business to spread compassion around your community!


  • Small packet of herb seeds, like thyme, rosemary or sage
  • Potting soil
  • Small terracotta pot or peat pot
  • Small bowl to put your seeds in 
  • Water
  • Seeds of Compassion Tracker

How To Do It

  • Place half the soil in the pot
  • Empty seed packet into a small bowl. Take a pinch of seeds and scatter on top of the soil
  • Empty seed packet into a small bowl. Take a pinch of seeds and scatter on top of the soil
  • Cover the seeds with soil until the pot is filled
  • Give your seeds some water, being careful to give the plant just the amount of water needed to make the soil slightly damp
  • Think of an intention you’d like to set. This can be as simple as a single word like, “gratitude” or “joy” 
  • Place your pot on a windowsill or near a window where it can get moderate sunlight
  • Check on your plant each day, watering as needed, and record any changes you see. You can also take a peaceful 3-5 breath or say positive affirmations like “I am peace, I am love, I am kind, I am compassion”
  • When your plant is as big as your pointer finger, plant it in the ground outside, sending your intention — joy, compassion, peace, gratitude — out into the world so others can experience it too! You might also choose to gift your plant to someone else.


Try incorporating this mindful practice into your Seeds of Compassion project:

Positive Affirmations


  • What changes do you notice in your plant?
  • How are you like a plant? 
  • What does it feel like to care for another living thing?
  • How do you feel about your plant? 
  • How do you feel about yourself now that you’ve nurtured your plant?
  • What if your plant doesn’t grow? What does that feel like?

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