These Painted Heart Worry Stones are easy to make, and a wonderful coping tool for kids who experience separation anxiety at daycare, school or any time they’re away from their parents. With a heart on the front and a message on the back, they can be carried in a pocket to provide comfort whenever a child feels lonely or anxious.
Years ago, the preschoolers in my daycare made these good luck stones, and when I asked them how they might work, one of the things they said was “they can help me not be lonely when I miss my Mom and Dad”.
You may also like our Homemade Worry Dolls.
How a worry stone works:
I was talking to my friend on the weekend, whose grandson is having a tough time with separation anxiety at school this year, and I mentioned the stones to her.
The way they work is your child carries it in his or her pocket when they’ll be away from you, and they can give it a squeeze or rub it between their thumb and forefinger for a calming effect when they’re feeling stressed, worried, anxious or upset.
You can read about the history of worry stones here if you’d like to learn more about them.
I decided to go ahead and make one for my friend’s grandson, and it was so fun and easy that I decided to make a whole bunch. No surprise there. I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to painting rocks (see all of our painted rock projects here).
You could actually give one of these worry stones to anyone you care for. They can keep it in their pocket, and be reminded of you and the love you share every time they touch it.
Isn’t that a lovely thought?
With Valentines Day coming up, these would make a great craft for your kids to make for friends and family. The painted hearts on the front of the rocks are so fitting for the season. Your kids can personalize them with whatever inspiring message they like on the back of the stones. I’ll list the messages I used toward the bottom of this post.
- smooth beach stones
- acrylic craft paint
- paint brushes (one needs to be a fine liner brush)
- fine point black Sharpie marker
- craft varnish or sealer
Time needed: 30 minutes
How to Make Painted Heart Worry Stones
- Wash and dry stones.
This will ensure the paint will adhere well to the stones. They’ll dry quickly if you rub them with a towel.
- Paint heart.
Using a pencil, draw a heart on your stone and fill it in with paint. Once it’s dry (use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process), outline the heart with black paint and a fine liner brush.
Note: The paint I used doesn’t give the best coverage, so I had to do three coats with some of the lighter colours. Martha Stewart acrylic paints and DecoArt paints apparently are the best for painting on stones.
- Write your message.
When it’s dry, turn the stone over and write a message on the back with a black Sharpie marker. You can write your message in pencil first or just go for it with the Sharpie.
- Varnish heart.
Brush a coat of craft varnish or sealer over the heart and allow to dry. There’s no need to varnish the entire stone or the message on the back.
Here are the messages that I wrote on the back of my worry stones:
- Love You
- I Love You
- Love U
- Be Brave
- You Rock
- Big Hugs
- Kiss Kiss
- Hugs and Kisses
I hope you have as much fun painting your worry stones as I had painting ours.
And I hope your stones bring comfort to your children or to the kids in your daycare, preschool or classroom.
You may also like:
- Homemade Worry Dolls
- Solutions for Kids with Bed Time Anxiety
- Rock and Stone Crafts and Activities for Kids
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.