CRAZES come and go like the seasons but every now and then one trend proves rock solid.
Despite being about as low-tech as you can get, a rock painting movement has spread across Australia.
Now thousands of small rocks have had makeovers and are being hidden around Australian parks for anyone to find and hide again.
All you need to get involved is a rock, some paint and Facebook if you’d like to share pictures and clues with other people.
Melbourne’s Moongala Women’s Community House in Bentleigh East has embraced* the rock painting movement.
Co-ordinator Jude Rangitaawa said it was addictive.
“Quite simply, we paint rocks and then hide them for others to find,” Ms Rangitaawa said.
“The idea is to make someone’s day and empower individuals. It’s like a treasure hunt every time you leave the house.”
On the local Glen Eira Rocks Facebook page, members post photos of their mini-masterpieces, give hints about where they’ve hidden rocks and show off treasures they’ve found.
The craze, which began in the US, has swept the world, with one Facebook group in America boasting 77,000 members.
South Australian Facebook group, SA Rocks, has exploded in popularity since the winter school holidays.
Bernice Clark founded the SA version of the group after finding painted rocks in a Perth park with her grandkids.
“I like the fact that it’s bringing children together — you’re strangers when you walk into the park but friends when you walk out,” she said.
“It’s got parents out in parks, talking to other parents. It’s taking children away from iPhones, TVs, computers — families are coming together more.”
Brisbane residents should also keep an eye out.
The Joyce family have been out in Wynnum, dropping off rocks and hiding them in the local library.
Beth Joyce and her daughter Monique painted rocks as a school holiday activity.
“I figured it was something fun we could do during the holidays so she rang around some of her school friends and we had days of painting rocks,” Ms Joyce said.
Once they had a collection, they set about hiding them in the Wynnum Library and along Edith St.
“We put a little note with each of the rocks that says ‘A smile for you, from us. Take me home or rehide me if you like. Post a picture and online #joycefamilyrocks’.”
HOW IT WORKS
1. Get some smooth river rocks.
2. Paint them and be as creative as you want. You can add your postcode, your Facebook group’s name or a nice message.
3. Seal it with sealant to make sure the paint doesn’t run. Avoid sticking man-made items on the rocks, which can fall off into the natural environment.
4. Ask to join your local rock group’s Facebook page. You could get a parent or teacher to do this.
5. Post a picture of your rocks along with where you’ll drop them — suburb and postcode.
6. Post photos of your discoveries* and then drop them off somewhere else and let people know where they can look.
embraced: taken to
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Activity 1. Treasure hunt
How does the rock painting craze work?
List some of the positives that rock painters have found when participating in this trend.
Are there any negatives? Discuss with a friend.
Work with a small group to discuss how to get a rock painting treasure hunt community happening in your school.
Create some guidelines, a poster and some clues for finding the first rocks.
See if others are interested in joining you
If your teacher allows it, show your poster to the other classes.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Personal and Social
Activity 2. Rock painting
With permission from your teacher, gather some rocks and art materials to paint your own rocks.
Follow the instructions in the article to complete your rocks.
If you can’t find a local Facebook page, you could hide the rocks in your school using a school map.
Create your own school treasure hunt for some younger class members with your rocks.
Mark a school map with an X to indicate where they can find the rocks.
Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: Visual Arts, Digital Technologies
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)
You are going to participate in the rock painting movement by writing a short list of words using the five senses.
For each sense find between five and 10 words.
What can you see, hear, smell, taste and touch while participating in the rock painting movement?
Tip: Think about what you might find using your senses while painting a rock, dropping it off somewhere for others to find or even looking for one outside at the park or at the beach.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP
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