Today's guest blogger is children's yoga teacher, Mariela Gomez! Mariela teaches the after-school yoga classes at Cashell Elementary and Candlewood Elementary.
Helping children learn to reflect on what they have and learn how to be grateful is so rewarding! Especially as children begin to use language like "This day was horrible". Teaching them to understand that one event does not cloud a whole day can help as they struggle with a negative event.
Using a bell in the beginning of yoga class can help each child verbalize the things they love, but making a gratitude stone is a physical reminder of the things they are thankful for, grateful for, or love.
Below are step-by-step directions on making your own gratitude stones at home:
Supplies: You will need construction paper, scissors, sharpies, mod podge, and craft sticks if needed.
- Find a small flat stone, small enough for a child's hand. Clean the stone with soap and water, and then gather your supplies.
To save some time in a classroom or at home, you can pre-cut and create a small packet for each child with a stone, paper shape, marker, and reusable plastic container for the modge podge. Have the child write out something they are grateful for (a warm bed, a home, family, friends, a pet, etc.).
Add a small amount of modge podge on the stone and place the 'gratitude' on top to help it stick to the stone. Use a craft stick or finger to smear modge podge evenly over the top of the stone, making sure to cover their paper completely. Let dry for 20 minutes. Feel free to add modge podge to the underside of the stone as well to make the whole stone shiny.
Share with the children ways they can use their gratitude stone. Here's a few!
Pass a gratitude stone around the table and share something or someone you feel thankful for.
To Calm Down Big Feelings
Hold the stone in your hands and think or write about all the things you feel thankful for. Rub the stone to help calm your mind and any anxious or unnerving thoughts.
Think about “What was the best part of my day?” “I really love...” “I'm really grateful for...” Be sure to tell those who are part of your day what they mean to you.
Share a stone
Create extra stones and share them with friends and family along with a note! Let them know how thankful you are for them.
An attitude of gratitude is contagious! Scatter your gratitude stones around your neighborhood or school to help others feel gratitude, and to remind them how important it is to reflect on each day.
Have fun spreading gratitude to the children in your life, it's a wonderful thing to witness!