Have you found a cute and colorful painted rock while walking around Champaign-Urbana? Curious what it could be all about? Why are people painting rocks and leaving them for anyone to find?
Maybe you’re curious and looking to join the painted rock craze that’s swept up the land. Or, maybe you’re just looking for a fun and easy way to entertain your kiddos.
Either way, with a little paint and some creativity, not to mention rocks, you can while away an afternoon either creating rocks to hide, or finding hidden painted rocks.
We asked our readers if they knew of any groups in the Champaign-Urbana area that are painting and hiding rocks, often with fun and inspirational messages, and here’s what they said:
Why are people painting and hiding rocks? What is this all about?
According to one reader, “People paint rocks, often with positive messages, and hide them for people to find. Sometimes they have a hashtag they want you to share on social media. A restaurant in our town hid one in town and you get something free if you bring it in.”
Taken from the Mahomet Kindness Rocks Project: “Goal #1 is to inspire others through randomly placed rocks along the way and Goal #2 is to recruit every person who stumbles upon it to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness.”
Who’s doing the painting and hiding:
“The Champaign Central football team just painted a bunch of rocks and put them around area parks for kids to find.”
“Garden Campers at Museum of the Grand Prairie have painted rocks and hid them all around the Botanical Gardens!”
“Our book club painted rocks one night and hid them around town the next day. So fun!”
How you can get in on the fun:
Check out a local rock painting/ hiding group. Many community groups are listed on social media. You find a rock, snap a pic, and post! As rock painting and hiding becomes more popular, painted rock social media groups are converting their Facebook groups from closed groups where you seek permission to view and comment, to public pages where anyone can join in on the fun.
C-U PAINTED ROCKS! A public Facebook group where you can post rocks you’ve found around Champaign-Urbana. The Facebook group with a similar name, C-U Painted Rocks, is linked to this group. #RockHunt is a suggested social media tag for this group.
SJO Painted Rocks: An active Facebook group that hides painted rocks around the Saint Joseph/ Ogden area. Members of this group have also painted and left rocks in other areas of the country. Looking for painting tips? This group has some great pointers from what kind of paint to use, to how to seal the rocks so the paint lasts in the elements.
Mahomet Kindness Rock Project: This Mahomet Facebook group allows kindness rock hunters to post and share rocks they have found and hidden. They also have rock painting events that are open to the public. We’ve even included one of their free painting events on our Event Calendar.
Philo Rocks: According to the @philorockhunt Facebook page, “Philo Rocks is an ongoing painted rock hunt in Philo’s parks and neighborhoods. Paint, Sharpie, etc. rocks of your own to hide around town and look for others to collect! Post your creations or finds here on the Philo Rocks Facebook page. Happy hunting!”
Gifford ROCKS: A fun Facebook page where community members share pics of rocks hidden and found. We’ve even seen a pop-up ice cream giveaway on this page!
Springfield IL Rocks: The Springfield IL Rocks craze includes directions for other area pages on the purpose behind rock painting and hiding, including instructions for other towns to their their own pages. According to their page: “The idea is to decorate rocks and hide them in various locations to brighten someone’s day. You can use paint, chalk, sharpies, etc, as long as it has a clear coat of sealer over it to preserve the art. On the back of the rock write in sharpie: ‘Post a picture to Springfield IL Rocks Facebook Page’. You can also write ‘Keep me or re-hide me’ for the finder to keep for themselves or leave for someone else to find.”
Westville ROCKS: According to the Westville ROCKS Facebook page: “Westville ROCKS is a community activity of painting and hiding rocks for others to find and enjoy. Everyone is welcome to participate.”
Monticello IL Rocks: This page doesn’t have a lot of public engagement yet, but does have some beautiful images of painted rocks.
Homer Rocks! This is a public Facebook group that features locally painted and hidden rocks, as well as the kiddos that find them.
Do you belong to a painted rock group? Any tips to share? Include in the comments below!