How can painted rocks make kids more active? And could painted rocks create a culture of kindness? My city started a painted rocks project that has everyone young and old getting out in the community to hide and find painted rocks of all styles and sizes. Find out more about how you can paint rocks or even start this project in your own area.
Painted Rocks Project #SanteeRocks
It started on a walk to the park. We found the painted rock on a park bench. One side of the rock had the word “DREAM”. The backside said, “Post a picture on #SanteeRocks FB page then rehide”.
The Santee Rocks Facebook page description states, “Santee Rocks began with the sole purpose of spreading joy, kindness, and a sense of community through creativity and was inspired by the Whidbey Island Rocks Facebook Group. The goal is to paint rocks and then hide them in various locations to bring joy to the finder”.
Getting Kids Active with Painted Rocks
Hardly a day goes by without my son requesting that we go on a walk to look for Santee Rocks. He knows exactly how many he’s found over the last few months (26).
And when my son does find a rock, he shows it proudly to anyone passing by before finding a perfect hiding spot. I’m seeing him be less shy and more conversational.
While my daughter isn’t as likely to chat it up she’s enjoys showing off her artistic side by painting rocks to hide. All the kids love to see the rocks that they’ve painted being shared on the Facebook page.
Painted Rocks of Your Own – Host a Painting Party!
Ready to paint your own rocks? Gather up a few inexpensive supplies and get creative! Use your inspiration from anywhere. We’ve seen some incredibly beautiful rocks on our Facebook page. And we’ve found some rocks that were probably painted by 2-year olds! Doesn’t matter. Each time my son finds a rock, he’s thrilled, no matter what it looks like.
You’ll need rocks, of course. Smooth river stones can be purchased if you don’t have rocks in your yard to use. There were some issues in our community when people were taking rocks from in front of shops to use for painting. Don’t steal rocks! Use your own or buy them.
Collect a variety of acrylic paints and paintbrushes. Use big brushes for covering the entire rock with paint and thinner brushes for details. A paint palette is a mess-free place to hold and mix colors (or use a paper plate for quick clean up).
You’ll need a permanent marker, like a Sharpie to write instructions on the back. Sealant is a must otherwise your artwork will wash away if the rock gets wet. Extra items could include a painting smock and a table drop cloth.
Starting Your Own Painted Rocks Group
If you think that your own community would benefit from something fun like this painted rock project, consider starting it up in your own area. Start off by enlisting friends to create their own painted rocks to hide. Start a Facebook group and things should get rolling from there. Our community site has over 10K followers!
Basic Painted Rocks Rules – (adapted from #SanteeRocks Facebook group)
- If you find a painted rock that you can’t bear to part with, please keep it. Replace it with one of your own creations.
- Coat rocks with a sealer for longevity.
- Do not decorate rocks with glue-on accessories. These decorations will eventually fall off and become litter and a hazard to wildlife.
- Be sensitive to the environment, stay on all trails, and do not hunt in protected habitats.
- Do not hide rocks inside businesses
- We encourage you to take rocks to other towns, states or countries to hide and share. This is a kindness project, and kindness has no boundaries!