As a child and adolescent therapist, I work with many kids plagued by worries. In addition to my work kids, my own son has a tendency to experience anxiety and anxiety produced behaviors. Worry stones are great for any kid with anxiety, but particularly those who need a replacement for anxious behaviors such a nail biting, skin picking, lip biting and the like. You can buy beautiful gem worry stones, but for kids, I have found that it means much more, and allows a sense of control, for them to create their own.
Our favorite way to create worry stones is to use Fimo Soft Clay or Play-Doh. Kids come up with their own color combinations and ways to mix the colors together. Some kids even get fancy with designs and create heart shapes. I typically choose 2 or 3 colors and roll them together in a ball. I then roll the ball out into a "snake" and shape the snake into a spiral and roll into a ball again. I then press the ball into a "stone" and most of the time use my thumb to create an indention in the stone. The indention is optional, but does serve as a spot to "rub." I bake according to package directions, 230 degrees for 30 minutes in foil pans. I typically let stones cool for a couple of hours and then use Modge Podge Acrylic Gloss Sealer to give the stones a shiny and smooth coating.
I keep a jar of stones in my office and a jar at home. The colorful jar is always enticing to little hands, and I encourage curious little hands to choose a stone to keep in their pockets. When worries emerge, the stone is easily accessible and can be used to teach a self-soothing skill as the child "rubs" away the worry discreetly. This creative craft project is easy enough and appropriate for kids as young as the preschool set, and enjoyable enough for those all the way in adulthood.