Have you been “rocking,” yet? It’s a craze beginning to sweep the country! I’ve been sort of obsessed with acts of “secret” kindness since I was a kid. When you do something nice for someone without telling them who it was, it gives you a rush. “Rocking” is just that: it’s a secret act of kindness.
Kids can learn a lot about kindness from performing secret acts of kindness. They learn that you don’t always have to get credit for something, that the act of giving a gift is just as fulfilling as the act of getting a gift, and that being kind isn’t just a means to an end.
I’m going to tell you all about how to make someone smile with "rocking" in a minute, but first, I’ll tell you a sweet story showing you how kids LOVE secret acts of kindness.
As a classroom teacher trying to build a community of care and love with a group of strong and opposing personalities, I created the “Secret Kindness Club”. We called it “SKC”, so no one would know what we were talking about. We met as part of our class circle time, and sometimes the kids volunteered to come in for recess to meet (the WHOLE class would volunteer--they loved it). At our meetings, we came up with projects to complete around the school to make people happy—projects to do in secret. We brainstormed and voted and took time to do things like make a thank you sign for our custodians or clean the science room tables. The kids were SO into it. They LOVED sharing ideas. They LOVED seeing the faces of the recipients. And of course, they LOVED having a special secret… a good secret. This club helped bring peace to my classroom and build a sense of community.
To be honest, I feel like I just told you something I shouldn’t have!!! Shhh!
For the same reasons the kids loved the Secret Kindness Club, kids will love “rocking” in your community.
Here’s how to rock:
Go for a nature walk. Bring a bag, and collect small, paintable rocks, the size of your fist.
Wash the rocks well. Simple soap and water will work fine. Let them dry.
Using acrylic paint, paint the rocks in any design you like. We bought acrylic craft paint from Michael’s for under $1 a bottle. You can also buy it from Amazon here. We used foam brushes, that cost about 50 cents each and small paint brushes for detail work.
Let the rocks dry. Some of our rocks were dry in a couple of hours and some more thickly coated rocks took longer.
After the rocks are dry, use a Sharpie marker to write your favorite inspirational messages on the rocks. You can use our rocks for ideas or do a Pinterest search like we did.
Visit your local playground or anywhere families play. (Note: I personally do not feel that you should choose a natural setting. Let nature be nature. Let’s not put acrylic paint somewhere that could affect the ecology in a natural setting! Instead, choose a man-made place and inject a little nature to it.)
Secretly hide your rocks. Don't let anyone see you!
Wait for others to find them. You will see them smile or run to show their parents! Or leave and return to see if any rocks have been discovered.
The idea is to make someone happy. Our hope for the rocks we hid was that someone would either (a) take them home and be happy to see them each day or (b) take them and hide them for someone else to find!
My nieces and nephew had a blast doing this. The youngest, 3 years old, enjoyed painting the rocks and carrying them around in a basket. The oldest, 14 years old, especially enjoyed coming up with messages to write. The two older kids, 11 and 14, loved hiding the rocks and seeing if anyone found them. Truly, I enjoyed it as well. That’s a large span of ages that can enjoy this activity!
I know we have plans to do more “rocking”, and we hope you will, too. Spread the love!
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Have you ever painted rocks? Have you hidden or discovered any painted rocks lately?