It’s the latest craze sweeping the country at the moment – rock painting. A chance for the whole family to get involved with painting, hiding and hunting for the rocks all over their community. It’s a great way of getting the kids outdoors and engaging with their environment. So how does it work?
Rock painting groups are springing up all over the place and Yorkshire is no exception with local mums setting up groups in Ripon and Pateley Bridge. Jenny Bridger from the Ripon group, Ripon Rocks!!! shares a few tips and explains how it works…
It’s easiest to paint on a smooth surfaced rock
If you can’t afford the acrylic paints (I got mine from Amazon for £8), then kids paints work fine.
Metallic marker pens (Amazon for £8.99) are excellent for adding more detail
Once the paint is dry, take the rocks outside and either varnish them with yacht varnish or I use Plasticote Super Clear waterproofing spray (£5 Amazon).
Write on the back Facebook Ripon Rocks!!!! [or Pateley!] so others know where they are from.
Hide them in places where other children are likely to find them (play areas, parks etc).
Post in the Facebook group that you have hidden some rocks (sometimes it’s easier if you give the approximate vicinity such as in the Spa Gardens or around Ripon centre). There are lots of design ideas online if you type in rock painting ideas or just get creative and do your own thing.
When you find the rocks, don’t forget to share a photo to the Facebook group and rehide them. With over 500 Facebook group members between them, Pateley and Ripon have turned a craze into a real community activity.
Jo Wilson from Pateley Rocks! said that the aim of the group is “to encourage families of all generations to get outside more with a focus. Just being outside can stimulate a better sense of health and well being for everyone, and have a real postive effect for great mental health in both the young and old. Then there is the painting which can be very relaxing and therapeutic again for adults and children alike. It’s wonderful to see how the group has taken off and so many people are taking part. It’s great to see the pictures on Facebook. The group is open to everyone, young and old and you don’t need to live in Pateley to take part and join us, just like our Facebook page Pateley Rocks!”
Emma Lees who helped set up the Pateley Bridge group agrees: “It is such a positive and exciting way to get everyone out of the house and it’s a free activity for all the family. Even if you don’t get chance to paint any rocks it’s still fun to walk around trying to find those that other people have hidden. The Facebook group is the best part for me as it allows members to see the rocks move around Pateley Bridge which is fantastic, and seeing the kids’ happy faces is even better!”
Ripon Rocks!!! will soon be taking the rock hunting into the city centre with shops and businesses getting involved and the Pateley group regularly meet for painting sessions together. So follow the groups on Facebook for more details and to get involved – perfect outdoor fun with the kids as the days get longer and weather warms up.