Directions

• Read and review the directions for the shrinking plastic.

• Make a list of all the people, pets, and supports the child has for helping them cope in tough times. They can list family members, friends, pets, religion, guardian angels, imaginary friends, a community helper who is friendly to them, hopes or dreams, a teacher, etc. If the child has a passion for something (such as sports, music, journaling) they can list this also.

• Pre-cut pieces of plastic into various shapes without sharp edges (circles, rounded squares, heart shapes, flower shapes, etc.). Make sure these shapes are about three times larger than the shape you will want for a charm (the plastic shrinks in the oven).

• Use a hole punch to make two adjacent holes at the tops of the charms (if you are using jump rings you only need to punch one hole). Two holes will ensure that the charm will stay flat on the wrist/neck once strung.

• Have the child use the permanent markers to decorate and color the charms.

• When the child has finished decorating the charms, preheat the oven according to the directions for the shrinking plastic (this is usually to about 250 degrees).

• Place some parchment paper on a cooking sheet, then place the charms on the parchment paper. Bake the charms in the oven till they curl up and then shrink and become flat again.

• Remove the charms from the oven and allow them to cool.

• In the meantime, have the child pick out beads to fill in the spaces between the charms on the bracelet/necklace.

• When the charms have cooled, have the child create their bracelet/necklace with an alternating pattern of beads and charms.

Now the child has a visible reminder of their own natural supports, which they can wear, or hang someplace special, or give to someone else as a gift.

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