I’m not talking about music.
I’m talking about the new rock art craze that is sweeping the world, delighting children and their carers.
This latest trend has people finding small rocks and painting them, then hiding them in parks for strangers to discover.
It ticks all the boxes as far as entertaining the kids. They can be creative, be outside having fun in a park and play that all-time favourite game, hide n’ seek.
The benefits go much deeper though.
The rules of this game are simple. Find a small rock, paint it, write a little information on the back, seal it and then hide it.
The information on the back usually refers to a social media group you are playing the game through. In this group (there are many of them covering different geographical areas) you can post pictures of your creations and leave hints as to where they have been ‘dropped off’. You can also post pictures of the rocks you find. These can be kept or used for ‘re-drop offs’. Many people add their postcode and the date to the information on the rock to show where it originated and how long it has been in hiding.
It’s uncertain how long this latest trend will last. The pet rock craze which took over America in the 1970s lasted only six months, though it earned its creator millions of dollars during that time.
The painted rock phenomenon that is occurring now is designed to profit only the people hiding and finding the rocks. After all, discovering treasure puts a smile on anyone’s face.
ROCK YOUR WAY TO KINDNESS
America takes the credit for starting the craze as part of the Kindness Rocks Project, which has now spread to many countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, India, Thailand, Haiti, Italy, and England.
The Goddesses and I are happy participants, but in truth, we have been doing something similar for a few years.
I first became aware of treasure rocks through ‘happiness ambassador’ Marielle Coppes on her website Magical Daydream.
I highlighted the project in my post, 8 Easy and Cheap Projects to Rock Your World.
The Goddesses and I created treasure rocks and initially hid them in my backyard. They still get delighted when they find these rocks.
Eventually, we moved on to hiding them in some local parks. We were not part of a group at that point and have no idea if those treasures were found.
I am thrilled to be part of a larger community, spreading joy and creativity in such a fun way.
Aside from the fun, the project is bringing to hundreds of children, it is also a wonderful way to foster a sense of community through social media groups.
The benefits don’t stop there. An ABC article tells a beautiful story of the joy a painted rock discovery brought to a homeless man.
ROCK YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS AND CREATIVITY
It is doing a wonderful job of promoting creativity, not only with the children, but also with the carers who are joining in the fun and flexing their artistic muscles.
Some will shyly share pictures of their creations with comments that reveal their lack of confidence in their own creativity, but the project has inspired them to participate anyway. A massive win as research shows you can use creativity to increase joy and lose anxiety.
For the kids, the benefits of this fun project are many. Promoting creativity helps children to learn and increases brain growth.
When children are encouraged to let go of their creations for a stranger to find they learn important lessons about giving and sharing.
While it’s wonderful to recognise kids for being kind and generous, the bigger gift comes in showing them that the real reward is the act itself.
Research has shown that giving actually causes a happiness boost.
Children who participate in the painted rock project may hide dozens of their creations without any guarantee they will find anyone else’s. This is the foundation of random acts of kindness – giving without any expectation of recognition or reward.
Their joy comes from the creativity, the fun of hiding their treasures, and the excitement of searching. They are learning to enjoy the journey, instead of focusing on an outcome. This is a skill many adults have yet to master.
Do you remember the fun of building sandcastles at the beach? Even though you knew the ocean would claim your brilliant design, you put your heart and soul into the creation. Then, you would watch the waves magically make it all disappear.
While the painted rocks are not the temporary art that sandcastles are, they teach the same lessons of letting go of your creations.
Creating painted rocks is also an ideal way to use nature to make kids thrive.
Having children use nature to create art gives them a better appreciation of their natural surroundings, promotes a love of nature and helps them to think outside the box.
TIPS TO ROCK YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS AND KINDNESS
If you’d like to be part of this fun project, you can find a group near you by searching for ‘painted rocks’ on Facebook or other social media groups.
- The next step is to find some small, flat rocks and plan your design.
- The Goddesses and I favour using old nail polish to paint designs on our rocks as it holds up well in the weather. However, as you will seal your rocks with varnish, paint will also work.
- Pictures and designs tend to look better when outlined in black and you can use a marker for this.
- Be mindful of any embellishments you add that could have a negative impact on the environment when they become unglued.
- It’s fantastic that we adults can join in the fun of making rock art but let’s be sure to give the kids free reign to make their own creative designs.
- Write the name of the group you are in, as well as your postcode and the date of creation on the back of the rock.
- Seal the whole thing with varnish, allow to dry, and have fun hiding your treasures.
Wishing you plenty of joyful discoveries.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.
Beverley GoldenJuly 20, 2017 at 8:17 am
What a fun initiative, Tami and it has so many amazing benefits for the creators of the rocks and also for those who find them. I have not heard of it before and am so happy to see how it is spreading across the planet. I have a lot of questions, but will check out a local group and see what the guidelines are for hiding the rocks. With all the walking I do, I might just have to start looking to see if I find any hidden rock treasures. Thank you for sharing this! It is the perfect combination of creativity and selfless giving!
tamuriaJuly 20, 2017 at 9:06 am
That’s what I love about it too, Beverley – that combination of creativity and giving. Such a wonderful lesson for kids – and adults. I hope you find some treasures.
Reba LinkerJuly 24, 2017 at 1:33 am
I really loved this post, Tamuria, especially: “When children are encouraged to let go of their creations for a stranger to find they learn important lessons about giving and sharing.”
As a constant clutter–clearer with 2 young children, my first thought was “Yay! Not more stuff to bring home.” But aside from that personal practical POV, your post helped me appreciate the resonances of letting it go rather than taking something home. When we let it go, it goes into circulation, maybe bringing joy, as in the stories you shared. When we bring it home it gives a split second of joy and then most often languishes unnoticed on a shelf. How great to put our gifts out into the world!
tamuriaJuly 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm
We live in a world that encourages possessing things. It’s great to teach children there is another way. I just finished reading the sweetest book to one of the Goddesses. It’s called A Fairy Went A-Marketing and describes how this beautiful little fairy, with such a generous soul, buys a fish, enjoys watching it for a while, then sets it free in a stream. She does the same thing with a bird and a mouse and a beautiful cloak that she gives to a frog to keep him warm. What a wonderful message for kids.
Apolline AdijuJuly 24, 2017 at 11:03 am
This is a fun idea as it helps the kids to be creative. You just gave me an idea on what to do with my daughter over the weekend. I did a few searches on Facebook and found some cool groups on painting. She is so excited and can’t wait for us to embark on this experience. She loves art very much.
tamuriaJuly 25, 2017 at 12:14 pm
I know you’ll both have a lot of fun with this one Apolline and it’s so good to do it as part of a community.
Kristen WilsonJuly 24, 2017 at 11:44 am
A friend of mine in Georgia has been finding kindness rocks.. with her and her children… and it’s all a kindness rock thing in this town… and here I see this and am like.. WOW!
tamuriaJuly 25, 2017 at 12:15 pm
The joy and creativity of it are spreading across the world.
Cathy SykoraJuly 25, 2017 at 10:17 am
Thanks for the instruction. This looks like a fun activity for kids!
tamuriaJuly 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm
It’s a great activity for kids, Cathy. I think the adults are getting just as much out of it.
MeghanJuly 25, 2017 at 10:43 am
Oh I love this! I was a kid during the pet rock phase in the 70s & enjoyed it then. We had a brief, localized revival of painting rocks in the 80s. So, this project is close to my heart. I’d never considered using nail polish, so clever! Treasure hunts are another favorite pastime in my family. I imagine leaving rocks and finding rocks are both exciting!
tamuriaJuly 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm
The whole thing is such a fun adventure and of course, I especially love how it encourages creativity, Meghan
Joyce HansenJuly 26, 2017 at 5:05 am
This is the first I’ve heard of it and I think it’s a fantastic idea. There are so many ways to set examples of kindness and this is a gem.
tamuriaJuly 29, 2017 at 9:31 am
This one ticks all the boxes for me, Joyce – creativity, being out in nature and sharing and kindness. Love it.
Jennifer Quisenberry of The Awesome MuseJuly 26, 2017 at 6:14 am
This gives me so many ideas. We recently removed some landscaping stones about the same size you show when we did our outdoor kitchen. I may have to indulge some fun, creative painting to see how the rocks would look. It looks like it would be so fun!
tamuriaJuly 29, 2017 at 9:32 am
It really is fun Jennifer and your creativity will soar.