MUM SAYS We hide rocks for other kids to find!

Many Singapore families are painting and hiding rocks in local parks for fun. One mum tells us how it works.

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“I first came across the idea of rock-hunting in New Zealand earlier this year, when I went to visit a friend. The kids over there don’t generally have mobile phones, so, instead of hunting down electronic monsters, they look for painted rocks!

When I got back, another mum, Lynn Loke and I, started the Facebook page, SG Rocks. We are both mums who want to run this group for other parents, and it’s not for profit.

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The concept is simple ― we ask parents and kids to paint stones, hide them around green spaces in Singapore, so other kids can find them. You decorate rocks, hide them in parks for kids to find, then post a pic on the Facebook page after you've hidden or hunted!

It’s an initiative to get kids off electronics and out into nature, as well as to teach them the joy of giving, as they’re leaving little gifts for other children to find. 

It’s an initiative to get the kids off electronics and out into nature, as well as to teach them the joy of giving, to leave little gifts for other children to find.” 

You’ll need a few things to get started. First, you’ll need rocks. You can get pebbles from your local garden centres or just pick up natural rocks from the parks. You’ll need some paint ― get either waterproof acrylic paint, or acrylic paint pens like Posca pens. Don’t forget the paint brushes, too, if you’re using paint. Finally, get a sealant to protect your artwork, though this isn’t strictly necessary. All the supplies are available at Art Friend.

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My kids love rock painting! It’s less fun for me when they make a mess, but with enough newspaper, I just let them get on with it!

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They've really taken to it which makes me happy, since it teaches them to be patient (you have to be to wait for the paints to dry), and to just express themselves however they want. A lot of the parents in the group enjoy letting their kids paint the rocks, as much as they themselves love painting their own masterpieces!

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On Saturday morning, we’ll slap on sunscreen and put hats on the kids, then hide some of our own painted rocks and go find others.

We started by hunting in several of the bigger gardens, but because we didn’t get permission, we have stopped that. Now we organise ‘Rock-Hunting Extravaganzas’ at Robertson Quay and some suburban parks like Bishan Park.

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We usually hunt the rocks at the extravaganzas, as I know that other members will be hunting and hiding too, so, we wouldn't be wandering around in the heat without finding anything.

Afterwards we’ll re-hydrate and the kids will claim their own stones. Sometimes, they find more than they should keep, so we'll re-hide some of the loot for others to find. I usually let them keep three or four of their favourites.