The treasure hunt that rocks! Getting started

Painted rock hunting: It's the latest craze to take over, not only our spare time, but social media too. You may have seen a few photos flash up on your Facebook feed as people around the country and the world are painting, hiding and seeking out decorated rocks. It's a cheap and easy activity for families, adds fun to a simple walk and has so many added benefits!
You can be a painter, a finder or both. Decorated rocks are hidden outdoors - at playgrounds, in parks, on bushwalks, at the beach - pretty much anywhere (whilst avoiding private property and sacred places like cemeteries). The rocks are labelled to connect them back to a Facebook group where members can show off their finds. It's a modern treasure hunt.

Getting started

For rock painters:
Use a rock that's reasonably smooth and no bigger than a child's hand.
Paint the rock with any decoration that you like - it could be a picture, pattern or message.
Label the rock on the back with your local Facebook group (i.e. TimaruRocks)
Coat rocks in clear varnish (or use exterior paint) to protect the environment.
Hide the rock at a local park, playground, beach, etc.
Be careful not to place them in the way of a council mower, or to disturb wildlife when hiding the rocks and don't make them too tricky to find.
If you like, you can share with the Facebook group the area that you have hidden them (with or without clues!).

For rock hunters:
Check your local Facebook group for ideas on where to look for the rocks.
When you find a rock, take a photo and rehide it.
Post on the Facebook group so the painter can see that it has been found.
If you don't find a rock, you will still have a great time exploring and enjoying the outdoors.
The benefits

Along with encouraging kids to explore the outdoors and learn more about their neighborhood and surroundings, painting the rocks also encourages creativity and fine motor skills. The activity also builds a sense of community.
Families are not the only ones getting involved. Community groups, school holiday programs and businesses have also taken up the challenge.