With the holidays fast approaching, the children have been busy painting rocks so they can join in with the rock hunting craze that swept the country during the last Summer holidays. We found out about this activity when one of our children shared the colourful rocks he had discovered hiding in a park on a recent visit to Wellington.
People have been painting, hiding and finding rocks across New Zealand, as word spread about this activity through Facebook.
Our Rock-finding enthusiasts at Albany Kindergarten have been encouraged to paint rocks and hide them outdoors, over the holidays for others to find, and the rocks have been labelled to connect them back to Albany Kindergarten.
Heather Knox started the Facebook group Palmy Rocks after being inspired by an article on a parenting website and the group where it all began, Port Angeles Rocks in
Washington. She started Palmy Rocks with a few people and it soon grew to thousands of members. It’s created a sense of community and “gives people in the neighbourhood something to talk about”, Ms Knox said.
Since then, School holiday programmes, day cares, and elderly care homes have all jumped on board.
Palmy Rocks is the biggest rock-finding group in
New Zealand with nearly 4,000 members, but groups have popped up all over the country including in Christchurch, Hamilton, Whanganui, Whangamata, Taupō and Wellington.
The activity allows children to explore the natural environment in a new way, finding rocks up trees and then feeling “really amazed”. It’s also a cheap and easy activity for parents to do, and it
keeps kids occupied for hours. (News Hub).
This experience allows our children to develop a great sense of community, by participating and contributing in a community oriented activity. In doing so,they are able to make connections with the wider world of people and places. This is also the case when children share their knowledge and excitement for exploring different places to hide and hunt for rocks. It’s exciting to see the possibility of making connections with our local community, and hopefully nationwide, through the use of ICT as well (Facebook). The wider world of whānau tangata (family and community) is an integral part of our early childhood curriculum. The Kindergarten curriculum builds on what children bring to it and makes links with the everyday activities and special events of families, whànau, local communities, and cultures.
How to get involved with rock-finding:
•Paint your rocks and coat them in a protective varnish so that the paint doesn’t wash off when it’s outside and exposed to the elements. Make sure to write your Facebook rock group on the back so it can be traced back to your area.
•Go out and hide your rock in your local park/playground for other people to find.
•If you find someone else’s rock – take a photo of it and post it on their Facebook page (it should be written on the back of the rock) and then hide it somewhere else so the game can continue.
•Albany Kindergarten families need to keep an eye on our local Facebook group (#northshorerocks) to see if our rocks have been found.
We hope you all have fun hiding your rocks over the holidays and who knows, maybe you will find some new ones too!