A Mindful Way to Reflect: Rose, Thorn, and Bud

By The Aloha Team

Flowers in front of Lanakila's blue wooden castle.

Activity purpose:

This activity inspires participants to reflect, become more aware of their surroundings, and
incorporate gratitude into their daily routine. Rose Thorn Bud is an activity that can be done a
single time, periodically, or incorporated regularly as part of a classroom, group, or family


If you’d like to write your thoughts down, you will need a pencil or pen and a sheet of paper.
Another option is to brainstorm without writing anything down and then share your ideas verbally.

How it works:

Explain what a rose, a thorn, and a bud represent.

  • Rose = A highlight, success, small win, or something positive that happened today.
  • Thorn = A challenge you experienced or something you can use more support with.
  • Bud = New ideas that have blossomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more
    about or experiencing.

Give participants 2-3 minutes to sit silently and reflect on their day (or experience)—and identify
one rose, one thorn, and one bud. Then give participants 5-10 minutes to jot down ideas on a
piece of paper.
Debrief questions for parents and adults to discuss with children:

  • Were any of these (rose, thorn, bud) easier or more difficult to identify than others?
  • Did anything surprise you as you considered what your rose, thorn, and bud were?
  • How can we best support each other’s highs, lows/challenges, and goals?
  • What are some ways you practice mindfulness?