There is a new activity that has taken my community by storm and the kids and I just love it. First, we stumbled across a pretty painted rock in the parking lot of our favorite grocery store, it had a message on the back to post a picture of the rock to a specific Facebook group. This led me to check out the group and wow, what an impact it is having in our area. The premise is that members of the community paint rocks with various pictures, quotes, inspirational words, or abstract designs and hide them about town. While you hide yours, keep an eye out for rocks others have planted. You keep some rocks or rehide them all. It’s a game of hide and seek that is fun for kids and adults alike and is inspiring to others.
Painting Rocks & How to Start a Group in Your Community
The kids love to see when others find their rocks and share them as much as they like finding them. I have seen story after story of people that went out for a walk to clear their head of a problem they are working out and they find a rock and it has something that touches them and changes their outlook. I have seen people paint and hide rocks to support cancer research, things like Tourette’s awareness, Autism, and law enforcement. This trend is changing people’s lives, while it may have started small it will bloom across the nation, I really believe this.
So, the best way to get started with a group in your own community is to create a Facebook page for it, start by inviting friends and family. Encourage them to invite others who might be interested in the “game”. Establish some ground rules…Is your group going to just paint and leave them for others to find expecting no reciprocation? Or do you want everyone to paint and hide so many rocks for each one they find and keep? Be sure you lay out some loose rules.
Some things you may want to incorporate in your group…
- Avoiding hiding rocks in grassy areas (they are hard on mowers and someone could get hurt).
- Reminders for no trespassing on private property.
- Painting and hiding 2 rocks for every 1 you find and keep.
- Add a tag to the back of your rock with the name of your group on it so others can share photos when they find your creation.Create a clever name or hashtag for your group.
- Seal rocks after creating them to preserve the artwork.
- Give tips for hiding/hunting places in the community.
- Try to rehide within your area, altough it is also fun to see how far your rocks can travel!
- Keep it fun !!!
It can be frustrating when you paint hundreds of rocks to hide and don’t find many yourself. Be patient, give it time to catch on, and understand it may take awhile for others to catch on to the how to of the rock game. Have the right mindset going into it, knowing that your courage rock or your cartoon character is bringing a smile to someone’s face.
Soon you will begin to run into others shuffling along hunting and hiding rocks as well, you will smile and nod, move on and keep spreading the fun.
Are you ready to get started painting your own rocks?
What you will need:
The Nature of this activity is that it is really up to the artist. This is the opportunity to let your imagination go wild. Express yourself, pay homage to a favorite book or tv show, write your favorite inspirational quote to encourage someone who may need it, or go wild with an impressionistic design. But I am going to give you some tips I have learned along the way.
The kids love this activity!
We get our rocks from a local landscape company that sells them by the yard, but they have made arrangements to sell them by the bucket to our group. We are lucky enough to fill a 5-gallon bucket for around $5. You want large smooth rocks that give you enough surface to draw or write on. The are sometimes known as beach pebbles or egg rocks. We have also found them at Walmart and Home Depot.
First, you want to rinse your rocks and allow them to dry, removing the dust makes it much easier to paint.
I have found it much easier to use a sharpie or a gel pen to first draw my design unless it’s abstract then I fill it in with the marker or use a small brush to paint it in and add details.
Create rocks that reflect your personality, the seasons, current events, or whatever strikes your fancy. This batch was a collection of some of my favorite children’s books.
You can also use stickers or hot glue small toys on the rock to add some dimension.
Once your rocks are dry you want to apply 2 coats of modge podge or spray sealer to both sides to preserve your artwork. Allow sealant to dry completely.
Load up your rocks and head into your town.
Parks, hospital walkways, restaurants window sills, mom n’ pop stores (check with them first), and similar venues are your best bet for foot traffic, visibility, and safety.
This culvert pipe in the pond was just begging for some color!
Little nooks in trees are perfect “hiding” spaces.
One of my favorite creations!
Our first rock find!
I have seen groups sprout all over my city, state, and elsewhere through friends. Do you have anything like this in your community? Do you think you might like to start one?