Many families use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to teach children about gratitude. A sense of gratitude, or feeling thankful and appreciative of the good things in one’s life, is an important social-emotional skill that can increase happiness and improve health. In this post, I share a simple nature craft for kids, Gratitude Stones, that can be used to cultivate an attitude of gratitude from an early age.
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From infancy, children are taught to say thank you when a person does something kind for them or gives them a gift. As they grow, kids can be challenged to reflect upon why they feel grateful for the kind act or gift. When I recently asked my 6-year-old to think about why he felt thankful for a new book, he replied, “I am thankful for the book because you didn’t have to buy it for me, but you did. I am thankful for the book and for you! My heart feels happy!”
My heart feels happy! ~ My son, age 6
What an incredible description of the feeling that a sense of gratitude awards! Gratitude does make your heart feel happy, and that is why a single heart is used to embellish the craft shared below.
1. Cut out a small tissue paper heart with scissors.
2. Place the heart on the surface of a clean stone. Using a paint brush, lightly spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over the tissue paper and top half of the rock. Allow this layer to dry undisturbed.
3. Flip the rock over and spread Mod Podge over the bottom half. Allow this layer to dry undisturbed.
When the rocks are dry, notice how seamless and smooth they feel! The thin tissue paper conforms to every nook and cranny within the rock so that it almost seems a natural part of it!
How to Use Gratitude Stones
The gratitude stone is a physical reminder to remember your blessings! There are many ways to use them.
Pass a gratitude stone around the dinner table before eating. When holding the stone, you must share something or someone you feel thankful for.
To Calm Down Strong Feelings
Thinking and talking about the good things in our life can calm down angry or sad feelings. Teach your child how to hold the stone in their hands and list everything they feel thankful for.
Pass your child the gratitude stone and ask him, “What was the best part of your day?” Reply with your answer when he passes the stone back to you.
Share a Stone
Create extra stones and share them with the people you feel thankful for! Include a little note expressing your gratitude.
A Grateful Community
An attitude of gratitude is contagious! Scatter gratitude stones around your community. and neighborhood to spread joy to others.
More Ways to Spread Holiday Joy
Spreading holiday joy and expressing gratitude makes everyone’s holiday season brighter! Here are some bright ideas from around the web.
5 Ways to Simplify the Holiday Season | Barefeet on the Dashboard
Christmas in a Shoebox | La Cité des Vents
Joyful Christmas Crafts for Kids | Hand Made Kids Art
Give a Little Bit | Gypsy Road
Welcoming the Holiday Season | Peace But Not Quiet
Giveaway Share | P is for Preschooler
Share Joy this Holiday Season | Are We There Yet?
Thankful Turkey Wreath Tradition | Mom Inspired Life
Christmas Sensory Play Ideas for Kids | Still Playing School
Holiday Tradition Ideas for Families | Sugar Aunts
Gratitude Stones | Fireflies and Mud Pies
Montessori Monday – Montessori-Inspired Thanksgiving Ideas | Living Montessori Now
Finding Joy in the Holidays Even During Difficult Times | Kara Carrero
Christmas Shadow Puppets Play | Adventure in a Box
Giveaway Share | Kids Yoga Stories
Family Thankfulness Jar | Realistic Mama
Gratitude and Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers | Totschooling
Unique Kits for Kids the Won’t Break the Bank | Lemon Lime Adventures
Giveaway Share | In the Playroom