I admit I have always had a thing for rocks. I have collected my share over the years, and each time I go someplace new, I look for one to bring home. You can find them on bookshelves or windowsills in my home, each one dated with the location of where it was found. But what on earth, do rocks have to do with school counseling?
Rocks hold a sort of magical touch. Their sizes and shapes appeal to students and adults alike and I have found a few ways to add these into my counseling program. Best of all, rocks are FREE. When you have a $0 budget like I do, free goes a long way. Here are 5 ways to use rocks in your school counseling program.
With a little imagination, a few paint markers (and I used a top coat shellac spray I found at a craft store), students can paint different images on several rocks. I have had students draw on a few and tell me about themselves using the pictures on the rocks. An example might be a turtle drawing with a response of “I did my endangered animal project on the sea turtle because I saw one at an aquarium once and thought it was cool.” You can also use them to describe feelings or tell an important story.
Materials needed: Acrylic paint, feather boas for hair, googly eyes, markers, paint brushes, and small gems
Discuss with students the support systems they have. Have each student describe the person that supports them and is their rock in difficult times. Allow students to talk about the qualities they think a good support person would have. After students describe a person in their lives who they think rocks and always supports them, have them decorate a rock to give to their rock.
Write questions on rocks using paint markers and pass out to students. These are a great alternative to paper that is sure to get their attention. Kids love to hold the rocks in their hands as they answer the questions. The rocks were used with the “You Rock” project. They were a great way to ask students questions that got them thinking and talking.
Put a little sand in a bowl or tray and add some rocks. You can draw emotions on each rock and use them within a counseling session. Students can arrange them, push them into the sand to hide, and use the rocks as a way to talk about their feelings in situations that are happening in their lives. The zen garden provides a safe place to talk about emotions and cycles of emotions.
Positive Thinking Stones
These are cheerful reminders that life is good. This can be a great community service project for kids. Just add some paint and paint pens, and students can write affirmations on rocks and leave them in flower beds, window sills, classrooms, or pass out to classmates as reminders there is good in the world. Thinking IQ made these Think Stones to share positive messages.
How can you use rocks in counseling? What special power do they have in your counseling program? Leave a comment below and let us know!