From left, Nelson Rocks founder Emma Gray with Madison Gray, 1, Bryley Gray, 3, and Caleb Fenselau, 4, after a rock hunt in Washbourn Gardens. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Hidden rocks all the rage

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Collecting, painting, hiding, and finding rocks is the latest craze for preschoolers and their parents.
Local mum, Emma Gray saw the activity taking off in Whanganui and brought it down to Nelson, starting up the ‘Nelson Rocks’ Facebook page.
The idea behind the craze is that parents and children get together to collect and then paint rocks before going off on an adventure to the region’s local parks to hide them for others to find.
Children are already spending hours outdoors, hunting for the painted rocks and then re-hiding them for the next people to come along.
“We were up in Whanganui for Christmas and it has totally taken off up there, they’ve got something like 1000 members, but it’s going viral across the country, it’s in Palmerston North, Hamilton, Christchurch and now Nelson,” says Emma.
“It’s just something kids can creatively do and it gets them outside for what is essentially a treasure hunt. It’s great to see so many people getting creative, getting out, exploring nature and having fun.
“My kids love the whole process and will talk about who they think might find the rocks and how happy it will make them, it’s really great.”
Rocks are popping up everywhere, from Washbourn Gardens, Easby Park, Oxford St Playground, Winston Park, Isel Park, the Modellers Pond, to Queens Gardens and the Centre of New Zealand.
The only rules are to keep off private property, seal the rocks so glitter and stickers don’t become litter and hide your rocks in a place where they won’t get in the way of lawnmowers or gardeners.
The page has only been up since December 29 but already has just under 700 members, most of whom post photos of their children painting, hiding, finding, and re-hiding rocks.
“Word is definitely spreading, I really didn’t think it would take off as quickly as it did in Nelson, it is pretty amazing now that I think about it.”