Today we made hearts out of clay. 72 to be exact. The kids picked out the colors, swirled them together, rolled them out and cut out hearts. Then we baked them for a few minutes to harden them. I think they turned out really cute!
The whole time we were making them the kids wanted to know what they were for and why we were making them. I waited to tell them because it was making them crazy and because I could :)
I got the idea from a blog I read (but I can't remember where). A teacher used her left over sculpey clay and made hearts for her class. It was around Valentine's Day. Each of the kids got some hearts and they spent the next week or so sharing those hearts with people that they thought could use extra love. I really liked the idea. We try to teach our children to look around them and see people who need a smile or a helping hand. We try to do the same. Service is one of the best ways to lift others up and also to lift ourselves up. When we are serving our hearts are filled with joy. I loved the idea of leaving a heart at the scene of the "crime" so the person we served has something beautiful to remind them that they are loved. So... I ordered some sculpey clay and we made hearts.
Tonight was our family night. Makenna had the lesson and she, without knowing my plans for the hearts, gave a lesson on serving and setting a good example. It was called "Being the First One on the Dance Floor." It talked about how dances often begin with everyone standing around the edges for the first few songs. Everyone wants to dance but no one wants to be the first one out there. It isn't until that one brave soul decides that he is going out there that everyone follows and begins to enjoy the dance. She shared examples of how kids have done that. One group of girls decided for two weeks that they were going to smile at everyone they saw - including themselves. They talked about how it spread from them smiling at others to everyone doing it. Another group of kids got into geocaching. Instead of leaving a trinket or toy at the site they left a scripture and their testimony of Jesus Christ with instructions for the next person to do the same. I told them about a boy I read about that had been bullied after his father died. He switched schools because of the bullying but decided that he was going to change things at his next school. He started his first day by holding to door open for the other students and greeting them as they came into school. At first the others thought it was weird but then they started looking forward to seeing him and they started doing things for others too. The staff talked about how this one boy had made such a change in the entire school. He was the first one out on the dance floor. He set and example and others followed. He served those around him and made a difference.
We talked about things we could do at home and at school that would help others. What could we do to be the first ones out on the dance floor? Then I gave out the hearts. The instructions - look for ways to serve and uplift, do it, and leave a heart letting them know that they are loved. I hope that over the next few weeks hearts will be spread around the house and school and that with each heart that is given, our own hearts will be filled.