Rock Hiding is the latest fun craze sweeping the nation and it’s landed in West Leeds with a smash!
Cheap, creative and fun, it involves decorating rocks with funky designs and messages, then hiding them for other families to find. It help’s encourage children to get outside, do craft with a purpose and share and give.
Leeds West Rocks is a facebook group and community set up by Jennifer Sharpe and her husband, to bring West Leeds together with painted rocks. Kids and families throughout West Leeds have been decorating rocks as part of the hobby and hiding them in parks, walls, fields and tress for others to find.
Jennifer told West Leeds Mumbler why she set the group up. “We have a 2 year old and after seeing what an impact the rock craze had in my home town of Grimsby, we really wanted to join in but there didn’t seam to be a rock group near us.”
“As Leeds is such a big area we thought it might be best to stick to West Leeds so that rocks could be hidden and found much more easily and more often. We started off with a few members in the group and spent literally every night and weekend painting rocks and hiding them to encourage more people to join!”
And now Leeds West Rocks has really taken off, with over 400 members in the Facebook Group and many more out and about hiding rocks.
How to get involved
It’s really easy to take part explains Jennifer “You simply need to join Leeds West Rocks on Facebook and then get hiding and seeking! Everyone posts pictures of rocks they have hidden and also rocks they have found. Once a rock is found you can either keep it or re-hide it somewhere else.”
“Kids seem to love finding them and we get great pleasure in seeing them found and re-hidden. Sometimes rocks that were hidden months ago will suddenly appear again in a very different location to where they were left!”
Rocks can be painted with pictures of anything you like and be hidden wherever you want in West Leeds. In February the group did lots of Valentines themed rocks and more recently Mother’s Day ones. But you can do any design you want. Acrylic paints work best and Sharpie pens are also great for writing with. Some people also seal their rocks with a sealant such as Mod Podge (available in Hobbycraft) to make them weather proof!
Popular hiding spots include; Bramley Fall Park, Gott’s Park, St Peter’s Church Bramley and Pudsey Park, although they could pop up literally anywhere!
Rock decorating ideas
There are loads of ways to decorate your rocks in fun and creative ways. Some people have even decorated rocks with charity logos and messages to help spread the word.
Our favourite decorations include:
- White rabbit – perfect Easter decoration, or you could even find egg shaped rocks to create colourful rock eggs
- Ladybirds – what’s better than finding a giant ladybird hiding in a field??
- Doughnut – because everyone loves doughnuts
- Use colours that stand out- make sure people will be able to see your rock; if you plan on hiding it in a field, avoid green and use bright paints.
- Don’t use water soluble paints – paints that are water soluble tend to wash off the rocks in the rain and you don’t want all those fabulous designs going to waste.
- Avoid using non-biodegradable decorations- although glitter and pom poms look pretty, they’re not great for the local environment so why not try finding alternatives – get creative in the supermarket and see what you can come up with!
- Hide your rocks in the great outdoors – get your kids outside and having fun by hiding your rocks outdoors. Try exploring local parks, the canal or local attractions to find the perfect hiding spot.
- Use a sealant – according to the Leeds West Rocks founder, sealant is a useful thing to use if you want your design to stick to the rock whatever the weather.
- Leave a message on your rock – Write #leedswestrocks on your rock, so people can track down the group and post a picture to show they’ve found the rock. You could also add your Childs name and a little message of inspiration for the finder.
And finally….look out for Snail Trails
Snail Trails have been popping up all around West Leeds and are a way to celebrate how well rock hiding has taken off, by demonstrating how big it can get. People have been painting their rocks as snails and adding them to the long line of rocks, to see how long it can become. Get involved by painting your own snail or two and adding them to the line.