Kindness Rocks

Hands holding painted rocks

“Mom, when are we doing our next Rock Drop?”

My youngest child asked me this question last week, and I confess my heart instantly warmed. Last summer I introduced my kids to Kindness Rocks. It is a practice I hoped would become a new family tradition. So, I was delighted when my daughter asked about it!

A Kindness Rocks outing (or Rock Drop) involves venturing into your community and “hiding” small, decorated rocks for your neighbors to discover. When our family visits a local park or walking trail, we try to include a Rock Drop to spread some kindness. A Rock Drop combines an uplifting art project with a fun scavenger hunt. If this sounds appealing, and you have not had an opportunity to try this versatile, family-friendly activity, consider this your official invitation to join us!

Painting Rocks

A few supplies are necessary to get you started. The rock-painting step of this pastime can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like to make it. Our family has used:

  • Clean, flat rocks
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrushes, paint markers and pens, primer spray
  • Spray varnish or Mod Podge to seal the rocks after painting

We decorate a large batch of rocks with vibrant colors or happy, uplifting messages and keep a supply of finished Kindness Rocks in the car, ready to drop. 

Hiding Rocks

During our Rock Drops my younger children get a kick out of becoming stealthy rock-hiding ninjas. They pride themselves on choosing creative hiding spots. Kindness Rocks are “hidden” in plain sight, so that other people can easily find them. We scatter rocks in and around local parks, playgrounds, and along walking trails. If we happen to be in downtown Bloomington, we might ask a few business owners permission to leave a painted rock on their outdoor windowsill. The idea is to offer an unexpected splash of cheer to passersby. Rock Drops have random acts of kindness built right into them.

Finding Rocks

A Kindness Rock is a wonderful visual reminder to feel encouraged. An otherwise ordinary rock was prettied up with the hope of boosting your spirits. But what do you do with a Kindness Rock if you find one? You can hide it again for someone else to find, or you can keep it and replace it with a Kindness Rock of your own. 

Community Connection

Would you agree this hobby feels ideally suited to our unique Bloomington community? An activity involving whimsical treasure hunts around town for painted rocks is just quirky enough to mesh perfectly with our town’s culture. If you choose to engage more intentionally with fellow rock-painters, local social media groups provide options for connection.

Our family has enjoyed two rock-painting Facebook community groups offered in the Bloomington area:

B-town Rocks 

E-ville Rocks (Ellettsville) 

Both are fantastic resources. They include instructional painting tutorials and recommend rock-hiding guidelines. Are you searching for creative inspiration as you decorate your rocks? Scroll through stunning photos of painted-rock masterpieces. As part of the group discussion, local participants share clues leading to the location of their hidden Kindness Rocks. When a rock is found, the recipient can document the finding with a photo and post in the group. Our family includes local Facebook group information on the backs of our rocks, directing the “finder” to the online group. My children are thrilled when we visit the group, and they discover one of their Kindness Rocks has been found.

The Kindness Rocks Project will give you an appreciation for the magnitude of the painted-rock phenomenon. Kindness Rocks are found worldwide. It is powerful to see how such simple gestures can make such positive impacts.

I asked my daughter what she likes most about our Rock Drops, and she was quick to respond, “It’s fun to make people happy!” I value being able to provide my children opportunities to brighten someone’s day. Kindness Rocks. 

Does your family enjoy hunting painted rocks? Do you have a preferred rock-hiding spot? Tell us what you love about Kindness Rocks.

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3 Responses to Kindness Rocks

  1. Avatar
    Carol ( June 22, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

    Great family and community project! Walkers in my southern calif community have also found kindness rocks on our city hiking trails! So fun to know it’s part of a larger campaign! Keep spreading the joy!

    • Avatar
      Amy A June 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

      Hi, Carol! So much to love about this fun activity! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. Avatar
    Dolores Sachar July 19, 2019 at 5:49 pm #

    FYI: Placing kindness rocks is illegal in State and National parks.

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