When children are developing, they will often feel the need to let go of past sources of comfort, such as a favourite teddy or blanket because they are ‘too old’.
This can cause distress and anxiety as they say a reluctant farewell to their fluffy friends. They may feel forced to give up something they love because it might not be socially acceptable to lug around their favourite blankey. Sonia’s Family Day Care has been working on activities to help the children adjust, and have come up with a wonderful way to help the kids.
Sonia had been considering different ways to help the children at her Centre to find comfort in a fun activity, while also providing them with skills important for their development. After some brainstorming, she came up with a very special way to offer the kids a resource to cope with anything that comes their way.
The day started with the children collecting rocks in the garden. After washing them clean, the rocks were dried using a hair dryer. This lead to the discovery that rocks can hold heat! Each child held their warm, clean rock in their hands. When asked what it felt like they said it made their hands feel warm. One little girl held hers against her stomach, and shared with her Educator, “it makes me feel warm and snuggled on the inside too Sonia.”
After letting them play with their rocks for a while, Sonia went on to explain how in some cultures it is believed that rocks can hold more than just heat. Some cultures believe that rocks hold the strength and wisdom from deep down in the earth.
The group then decided to paint their magical rocks. Once dry, Sonia sealed them for the excited children with a clear lacquer spray. The children were so excited and eagerly sat in a circle waiting for their rocks to be dry enough to hold.
When every child was holding their warm and colourful rocks, they discussed how they felt about what they had created, with everyone sharing how happy they felt. Sonia instructed them to hold their rocks and close their eyes and think of other times when they felt happy, then imagine that happiness going into their special rock.
When they opened their eyes the children and their Educator spoke about what things they thought about. One child said he was playing with his dog. Another played with mum and dad and the other two were remembering a birthday celebration. Sonia then told them that they can keep their magical rocks in a special place and know that whenever they need to they can hold onto it and remember happy times.
A beautiful activity that was enjoyed by all, Sonia’s Family Day Care ‘special rock activity’ was a rocking success!
Take a look at the pictures!