You could be forgiven for thinking that kids in our technological age might not be too excited about playing a hide-and-seek based game using painted rocks, but the popularity of rock dropping exploded throughout the Northern Valleys these school holidays.
The activity involves the kids painting rocks with whatever takes their fancy – animals, insects, superheroes — even inspirational quotes; and then leaving them in a public parkland area for other children to find and enjoy. If you are the lucky finder of the rocks you can take them home to enjoy for a while, but the object is always to get them re-hidden for someone else to find. The activity has a great interactive social media component, with the large WA ROCKS Facebook group and other localised groups (Bullsbrook Rocks) helping to showcase locations that have been rocked and allowing kids to see just how far their artwork has travelled.
Krystal (11), Shaylee (7) and Ebony (4) Sampson managed to deliver rocks to Bullsbrook, Lower Chittering, Muchea, Bindoon, Gingin and Wannamal these school holidays — a massive feat!
Krystal (who likes to paint Harry Potter, animals and scenery on her rocks) says, “One of the best things about rock dropping is seeing other kids finding them and just having fun.” Her sister Shaylee says, “The best thing is you get to paint them and my favourite thing to paint is emojis.” Ebony says she enjoys rock dropping because, “You get to find some!” She loves to paint butterflies, flowers and ladybugs on her rocks. Their mum Sue-Anne particularly enjoys getting the kids out of the house and watching them have fun. It really is a great activity for expressing creativity, getting out into nature and exploring new locations.
Here are some tips if you would like to join in the fun:
- Unpolished, clean, dry rocks, such as river stones, are ideal. These can be sourced from hardware, garden, and craft supply stores
- Acrylic paints and permanent markers (such as Sharpies) work best
- It is a good idea to seal your rocks prior to releasing them to protect your artwork from the weather. You can use a clear varnish, PVA glue, Mod Podge or even clear nail polish for this step.
- You can mark the back of your rocks with either your postcode or the name/hashtag of a Facebook rock group to help track where your rocks have come from
One final tip from Krystal: “Just share the fun, and once you have found a rock, re-hide it.”