UK Rocks, The Painting and Finding Family Activity

Painting, hiding and finding rocks is a big hit with families 

You may have heard of it, you may have even seen some of them in your local park, but painting rocks and hiding them for others to find is becoming a big hit with families looking to get outside. Here we take a look at what this ‘craze’ is all about.

What is it?

It couldn’t be simpler, we all remember those days from our childhood when we’d go to the coast hunting out seashells and interesting looking rocks, this has now gone a step further. The craze that has been growing in popularity over the last year is the painting of rocks in beautiful patterns, characters and messages, you then take a photo of it, post to your local rocks Facebook group and let people know the area you’ve hidden it – they head out and try to find it.

It all started in America with the Kindness Rocks Project with the idea of painting inspiring or kind messages on rocks and leaving them for others to find to help brighten their day. This has evolved over time to add in some tremendously artistic painted rocks featuring your favourite characters, phrases, or locations.

These Facebook groups are attracting thousands of people all looking to get involved, and if you’re on the hunt for rocks in your local area – it’s a great free activity to take part in with the kids.

How can we get involved?

Hunt out your local rocks group on Facebook, these can usually be found by searching ‘UK Rocks’ on Facebook and your area. Alternatively, there are large national groups such as ‘Love on the rocks UK ~ Painting and Finding‘. Join up and members will be happy to introduce you to the activity.

There are two ways you can get involved:

Hiders: Head outside with your kids, find some suitable smooth rocks. Come back home and paint your own designs or messages. It’s a great way to get creative and every rock is different. You then snap a photo, pop the name of your local rocks group on the back of it and tell the Facebook page what sort of area you’ve hidden it. This gives others the chance to hunt it out.

Finders: If you’re not feeling very arty, you can just get involved with finding rocks. Join your local group and when people post rocks and locations, head out with the kids on your own little treasure hunt.

Looking for a set to get started? You can pick up the Handy Heroes Stone Painting Kit from GO Outdoors.


If you do get involved, we would love to see some of your designs. Use the #iGOoutdoors hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to share your adventures with us.


Why get involved?

It’s easy, it’s free (or the cost of paint supplies), it’s fun, and it turns time outside into a game that young children can easily get involved with. It’s ideal for your local park or area, alternatively, you could seek out local rocks groups on your next camping trip.

Time outside is an important part of an active lifestyle, with recent studies finding that British children actually spend less time outside than adult prisoners. It’s an awful statistic to read, especially when you consider that children who regularly play outdoors have been shown to be happier, healthier, more confident and less anxious

Discovering new places and developing that sense of wonder and adventure is a vital part of any childhood, after all – I’ll wager that most of your own memories of childhood stem from time outdoors with friends: building dens, riding bikes, climbing trees etc. It’s time we encouraged those same memories in our own children.


Fancy taking your treasure hunting skills to the next level? Try geocaching.

If you or your kids love the treasure hunt aspect of finding the rocks, it’s a simple stepping stone to get involved in ‘geocaching‘, and with hundreds of thousands of ‘caches’ to find around the UK, geocaching opens up a whole new world of adventure.

Check out our ‘Beginners Guide to Geocaching


Safety Notes

– Be mindful of others. Don’t create tripping hazards by using large rocks, keep them at a reasonable size.

– Don’t disturb wildlife when hiding your rocks, make sure they’re hidden somewhere that won’t disrupt the natural habitat.

– Don’t throw rocks (seems obvious!)

– Keep your messages and designs family friendly, don’t be that person.