LONGMEADOW, MA – The latest treasure hunt craze for children and families has made its way into town, as painting and hiding rocks for others to find has become a popular activity for Longmeadow residents and those in surrounding communities.
Rock painting combines artistic creativity with the excitement of a scavenger hunt, as participants paint and hide their rocks around town for others to find and then leave clues to the rock’s whereabouts on social media. People can choose to just paint and hide rocks, while others may decide to paint, hide, find, and sometimes re-hide the rocks.
A Facebook group called “Longmeadow Rocks” was created in July by a Longmeadow resident, and as of publication time had 90 members.
“I have friends in the Carolinas, and I saw on Facebook that they were painting rocks and hiding them,” said Stella Slattery, who created the Longmeadow Rocks page. “Enfield (CT) has its own group too, and my daughter was really interested in participating. So we started painting and hiding our rocks in Enfield, and it really brightened our day. It’s a really fun and exciting activity, so I thought we should bring it to Longmeadow.”
The group description on the Longmeadow Rocks Facebook page states: “Join us by painting rocks to hide, find, re-hide (or simply keep) around town to help bring a little happiness to someone’s day! This is a community group meant to spark creativity and excitement in all ages and motivate people to explore the beautiful town we call home!!!! We may have a small town…but we can make a big difference!!!!”
“It’s all about brightening someone’s day,” Slattery said. “Kids like to hide and find, and when they stumble upon a rock, the message can really hit home. It just makes you smile and gives you an awesome feeling, which is something we need now in this world more than ever.”Participation is easy. According to a post on the Longmeadow Rocks page, the supplies needed are rocks, paint, brushes, a clear sealer, and other optional items such as stickers, paint pens, sharpies, etc. Using acrylic paint works best, as it dries quickly. Once dried, the rocks should be coated with a clear sealant to keep the rock looking at its best. Marking the bottom of the rock with the words “Longmeadow Rocks FB” will help direct the finder of the rock to the group.
When the rock is sealed and dried, it’s time to hide it. Participants are asked to be mindful of where they place their rocks, being sure not to hide rocks on private property (stores, parking lots, etc.) without permission. Locations others have used include parks, trails, ballfields, playgrounds, and other public areas in town, ideally off the ground and out of grass to avoid problems with mowing. Once hidden, participants can post a picture and a clue about the rock’s whereabouts on the Longmeadow Rocks page. Those who find rocks are asked to comment on the page that it was found, and post a picture if they like.
Slattery said some good places to obtain rocks are at Home Depot, and river rocks work well because they fit in the palm and are easy to paint. Participants have also used shells in the past with success.
Some of the rock creations found so far include images featuring flowers, funny faces, Disney characters, lady bugs, butterflies, rainbows, and Pokemon balls.
“It’s amazing the artwork that’s out there,” Slattery said. “The talent being displayed is just incredible. We’ve had everything from M&M’s to intricate scenes on the beach. They are really beautiful.”
Slattery said her 8-year-old daughter, Sadie, “loves” hiding and finding the rocks.
“She loves it, but I don’t know who likes it more, me or her,” she said. “It’s something we both really enjoy.”
To join the Longmeadow Rocks Facebook group, go here.
– Article by Jeff Hanouille