Join the painted rocks craze

painted rocks

We love heading away on summer holidays, and this year we’ve been blessed with my Husbands’ parents buying a classic 1950’s batch in Opunaki. If you haven’t heard of it before,¬†it’s a small coastal town in the Taranaki region.

We travelled from Wellington and decided to stop at the Funky Duck cafe in Whanganui, which is situated next to the lake. It’s a really great spot¬†to stretch your legs, and we walked around the lake through the bush.

While walking my 3 year old daughter was super excited to find one of the painted rocks that¬†people have been hiding. This was such a special moment, because if there’s one thing my daughter loves, it’s a good old fashion treasure hunt.

Our family treasure hunts usually consist of grabbing some¬†trinket while we head out the door to the beach. One of us distracts our 3 year old long enough for the other to hide the treasure and place a quick X with sticks on it. Then we say, ‘should we look for some treasure?’ and start hunting for the X that marks the spot. Seriously, this game is a real hit. It’s¬†amazing¬†how much treasure is hidden in the beach ūüôā

So you can really see why finding this¬†real¬†treasure in a Whanganui park was exciting for all of us. Especially as we’d completely forgotten posting about the #TaranakiRocks craze!

When we got to Opunaki, our 3 year old excitedly explained to her Nan what she’d found on the journey up. Nan decided to gather some rocks to paint from the beach with her granddaughter. And to join in the fun by hiding them around Opunaki. We decided we’d hide one in Whanganui on our way home too.

How to join the painted rocks craze

Materials you will need

Acrylic Paint
Sealer Рyou can use a matte or gloss Mod Podge to seal and protect the rocks from the weather (optional)
Paint brush

What to do

So that the colours would stay bright, we undercoated our rocks with white paint first.

Once¬†the undercoat is dry, paint them using your chosen colours. You can paint all sorts of patterns on them, paint little¬†pictures, or you can write something inspiring on them. There’s definitely no rules here!

My daughter is only 3, so our’s turned out to be bright and colourful messes. But she had a blast painting them and hiding them.

Once the paint is dry you can write on the back of them: #Your-townRocks. For example we wrote #TaranakiRocks on the back of ours.

Finally, seal them with a clear sealer of your choice, if you want them to survive for the long term outside.

Now, get out onto walks¬†around your home town. Try around lakes, in popular bush walks, DOC trails, even popular suburban rambles. Try to ‘hide’ them where other kids are likely to see and find them (we’re not geocaching here people). It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to the next person’s face who finds it!

Don’t forget to check out Facebook for your local town’s painted rocks page. They’re popping up all over New Zealand now. When you find a painted rock,¬†the idea is to snap a photo holding¬†it, upload it onto social media, and then re-hide it for someone else to find.

Alayna Flighty

Alayna lives in Pukerua Bay with her husband and two beautiful children, where she runs She's a qualified primary school teacher with a passion for the arts. Alayna believes when children engage with the arts they develop their language, fine motor and problem-solving skills, and improve their overall confidence.

Join more than 20,000 families

As we build a strong community of like minds:

  • Get the best tips from the best experts
  • Recipes, parties, crafts and activities
  • Special offers, competitions and more...

Sit back and relax and let us deliver to your inbox.

Categorised: Preschool, School Age

You might also be interested in:

7 Classic birthday party games kids love

The classic birthday¬†party games kids love keep being used because they really work! They’re very easy to set up, easy…

15 treasured Children’s Day ideas

Children’s Day ‚Äď Te RńĀ O Te Tamariki¬†‚Äď provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to give time to children. It…

Creative party themes

My girls are quite creative, I guess they take after their mum in that respect.¬† They both love to colour,…

Enjoying the holidays

Christmas has come and gone and the exhaustion after rushing around to get everything tidied up before the end of…

Welcome to Kiwi Families

We bring thousands of families together to learn from each other.

Join a community raising great kids: