Keeping an Open Heart

March 22, 2017

When facing life-altering changes, like the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious illness, it can be difficult to understand and reconcile such complicated feelings.  The following activity is a great way to acknowledge feelings that have been “hiding” away and serve as a reminder that our hearts can continue to feel open, safe, and loved even after a serious diagnosis or death of a loved one.


  • The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
  • Brightly colored paper, cut into hearts
  • Writing utensils like crayons, markers, or colored pencils

Keeping an Open Heart Activity

  1. Read the book The Heart and the Bottle as a starting point to discuss why people sometimes hide their feelings. Sometimes, our hearts may feel broken. It is common to want to protect our hearts because we may feel worried or scared that our hearts will feel broken again. Sometimes it can be good to protect our hearts, but other times it prevents us from truly feeling and experiencing the world.
  2. Next, on the paper heart, draw a picture or write a message to yourself as a reminder that your heart can continue to feel open, safe and loved.
  3. Hang the finished heart somewhere visible as a reminder to keep an open heart.

Subscribe to the Tu Nidito Buzz today! Stay up to date on nest happenings and programs, find family resources and learn other ways to support grieving children. At the top of the blog page, enter your email address. Then go to your email and click the subscribe confirmation link.

Stay Connected
To this important work