By Wendy Eckhart
The idea behind painting rocks is not a new one. People all over the country have been doing it for quite a while. In fact, the idea has taken off in several communities in Florida. After a long weekend visiting in Martin County, my two kids got the bug! We had painted some rocks at their grandparents’ house and gone to a local park for a rock hunt. The kids were so excited not only to hide the rocks they had painted but to actually find rocks that had been hidden, too! We found rocks with meaningful quotes, sparkles and polka dots! It was so much fun, we decided to start our own rock-painting group to see what joy we could bring to those around our community.
We had some friends join us one afternoon and we started painting. Our one requirement was that the rocks had to be bright enough to catch someone’s attention. On the back of each painted rock we wrote “Rockin’ Alachua County Facebook.” Then, we went out into the community and started leaving them around parks and highly frequented areas with the hope that someone would find them and check out our group on Facebook. Within two days, we had almost 80 members and the page was filled with images of smiling kids who had found our rocks.
The idea is simple. Paint a rock to bring joy to someone else’s day. That is it! You do not have to be a professional artist. All you need is to enjoy the act of giving a painted rock to bring a smile to another person’s face. You can enjoy painting alone or as a group. Get together with your family, playgroups, mommy groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or art clubs. Painting rocks can be a wonderful group activity, and finding rocks is even more fun! What is more exciting than a real treasure hunt? Head out to a park and take a nice walk. You could find a rock on a bench, in a tree, on a log … the possibilities are endless! You may even find them while out shopping!
The idea is pretty inexpensive, too. You can buy a few small containers of acrylic paint at any craft store or big box store. You will need a paintbrush and some water to wash your bristles. Once you have painted your rock, we suggest you seal it with a clear coat to protect the artwork. You can buy a clear coat at any store that sells spray paint. Then, go out into the community and find a place to set your rock for someone else to find. We have so many beautiful areas in Alachua County, and we hope that this will help families spend more time together outdoors and enjoy this gorgeous area in which we live!
Don’t forget to label your rocks “Rockin’ Alachua County Facebook.” We can’t wait to see what you create!