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Grief + Gratitude | Creating Gratitude Stones

The holiday season is often focused on gratitude, but sometimes, it can be difficult to feel thankful when we are grieving. This “Gratitude Stones” activity helps remind us of all we can be thankful for, no matter how big or small it may be.


  • Rocks

  • Paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • Permanent markers

  • Sealant (optional)

  • Glue

  • Gems, pom poms, and other decorative items


  1. Find some rounded, flat stones from nature, your backyard, or a local garden center. Clean your rocks from dirt and debris before you start the design.

  2. As a family, discuss what you are thankful for: memories of your person who died, being able to connect with friends and family, plans for a future play date or family trip.

  3. Draw or paint designs on your rocks that are inspired by the things you listed. Once the paint is dry, you can spray the stones with sealant if you choose.

  4. Add gems, pom poms, stickers, or other decorative elements.

  5. Create as many Gratitude Stones as your family would like.

While it might be challenging at first to think about things to be grateful for, start small and hopefully you will find it hard to stop. We encourage you to display your gratitude stones somewhere you will see them daily. Whenever you notice yourself feeling down this holiday season, take a moment to look at your gratitude stones and reflect on all those special things you and your family have to feel thankful for.

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