And just like that summer is over and back to school time is upon us! In this season, your child may experience some worry or anxiety with all the change – especially if you’ve moved over the summer or they’re starting at a new school.
Remembering Rocks are a physical reminder to count (or remember) your blessings and a simple way to teach children about gratitude.
While there are numerous ways to quell anxious feelings, starting a gratefulness practice with your kiddo is a simple option. Use these stones to help them calm down in times of stress, anxiety, or “big feelings”. In those moments, have your child pick a stone (or pick one for them) and have them list the associated things they’re thankful for. This is a grounding practice that can help bring them down after an emotional experience.
You can also use the stones to talk about what they’re anxious/sad/etc. about by laying out all the stones and asking them to pick the one(s) that relate to how they’re feeling. This encourages them to talk through “big feelings” with a trusted adult – you! For example, if they pick the “friends” rock you can spend some time talking about how perhaps they’re worried about making new friends or missing their best friend from their old neighbourhood.
These stones are also wonderful way to cultivate a grateful attitude in your child. Even as adults, we tend not to take the time to focus on what is going well and what we already have. This shift in perspective can be life-changing! Pass the stones around the table at family dinner and as you hold them, spend a minute or two sharing what you’re grateful for today. You can also incorporate them into your child’s bedtime routine, asking them to pick out the rocks corresponding with what they’re grateful for before they go to sleep.
The craft is simple and inexpensive to make and a great way to spend an afternoon with your child. While it may be tempting to make the stones look perfect by doing them yourself, I’d encourage you to allow your child to have some creative control to solidify that the stones are theirs. If you want to display some in your kitchen for use at family dinners, make a second (more “polished”) set! No matter how you’re going to use them this year, it’s time to get crafting!
- Rocks (smooth, flat, cleaned and dry)
- Acrylic paint, your choice of colors
- Paint markers (white and black)
- Container or jar, for storage
- Wash stones and let dry. You can use rocks you collect outdoors or purchase some at your local craft or garden store.
- Paint the tops of the rocks with colorful acrylic paint. Allow to dry completely. Apply a second and third coat if needed.
- With your child, come up with a list of people, places, or topics your child is grateful for.
- Using the paint markers, write these "gratefulness topics" on the stones (1 topic per stone). Let dry.
- Store in a container or mason jar to use later!