Tuesday, January 07, 2020

How to Make Scented Worry Hearts for Anxious Kids

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Do I have hyperlexia? Is my child hyperlexic? Take the free online hyperlexia quiz today!

These scented felt hearts are a great alternative to worry stones for kids.

Once upon a time, I gave needle felting a try.

My original goal was to make a bunch of felt letters and numbers for my hyperlexic son (it's what one does when letters and numbers are a passion). I did eventually needle felt the numbers one through four, but that's about as far as I got before I determined that needle felting wasn't the hobby for me...

Anyway, one of the first projects I attempted were these needle felted hearts since it was so close to Valentine's Day. But I decided to make them scented and use them as an anxiety and self-regulation tool for my son.

The result? These lavender scented worry hearts for anxious kids.

There are two different ways you can make your own worry hearts, so don't worry if you can't needle felt! You'll find both tutorials for how to make worry hearts below. And, of course, adding scent is completely optional.

DIY lavender scented needle felted hearts - an alternative to worry stones and worry dolls for anxious kids

How to Make Lavender Scented Worry Hearts the Easy Way (Option #1)

This is the easiest way to make worry hearts, perfect for those of you who don't know how to needle felt or don't want to needle felt.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Scissors
Simply cut hearts out of felt. Add lavender essential oil (optional) if you want them to be scented. And boom, that's it!

How to Make Needle Felted Hearts to Use As a Worry Stones Alternative (Option #2)

To create these scented felt hearts, I used:

  • Pink wool roving - I asked the boys what color of hearts they wanted. They both picked pink.
So these hearts were the first two needle felting projects that I've ever done. Ever.

I consider it a victory that I only poked myself a couple of time. And only once did I draw blood. Overall, I am pleased with how they turned out.

Thankfully, I followed this great tutorial from Zing Zing Tree on how to needle felt hearts. Except I didn't round the edges as nicely as she did.

Once the hearts were formed, I added a drop or two (usually two - not on purpose, by the way - because it drips so quickly!) of lavender essential oil. Then I massaged the oil into the felt and rubbed it around as best as I could.

Voila! Scented felt hearts!

Needle felted heart that's scented with lavender

Using Worry Hearts with Anxious Kids

These worry hearts make a great alternative to worry stones or worry dolls for kids and are perfect for little hands to hold. Even if said hands are covered in cheesy chip crumbs and red pen marks. Ahem...

How to make felt worry hearts for kids

DIY felt worry hearts for kids who worry

Their small size also allows them to easily be tucked into pockets. Then your child can pull them out when they are feeling nervous, worried, or stressed.

DIY felt hearts for worried kids

And if you chose to add lavender essential oils to your worry hearts like I did, then your child can simply sniff the hearts, when needed, to reap the benefits of the lavender, which is generally a calming scent. Smelling lavender can be a quick and easy grounding technique.

Lavender scented worry hearts for anxious kids

These worry hearts can be also be a visual reminder that someone loves them and can be a great tool to use if your child has separation anxiety. Simply give the heart a hug or kiss before giving it to your child. Then let them know that when they are missing you, they can look at or squeeze their felt worry heart to feel connected to you.

You could also make a bunch of these and give them out as a non-candy alternative for Valentine's Day.

Other Anxiety Resources You'll Love

This post was part of a series with my friends from House of Burke and Still Playing School. Here's what they made:

Building Hearts with Blocks from House of Burke

Waterproof Sand Heart Sensory Play from Still Playing School

How to make felt worry hearts - an alternative to worry stones and worry dolls for anxious kids