West Orange Families Come Together Painting, Hiding Inspirational Rocks

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new phenomenon that is spreading around the country via social media is getting kids back outside and back into arts and crafts.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, rock painting is geared toward spreading positivity and creativity.

It’s like an Easter egg hunt.

“You can hide small or big rocks,” said Kyan Bashkoff, 8. “You can put it here, but that’s sometimes too easy.”

Colorful rocks have been painted and then hidden in parks around West Orange, New Jersey. It is part of the Kindness Rocks Project, a national idea that has exploded on social media.

Kyan and his older brother Mason, 12, showed CBS2’s Baker how it works.

“I’ll put this one here — it’s a small rock; it fits just well!” Kyan said as be placed the rock at the foot of a tree.

“We saw this rock that we didn’t paint — it said, ‘Be kind,’” Mason added. “That’s a pretty cool rock.”

Erica Fisher brought her two little ones to Degnan Park.

“They get to go on like a scavenger hunt through town, so it comes to become like a nice local thing for the kids to do, and explore West Orange,” she said.

Fisher’s daughter, Carolyn, told Baker about one she hid.

“I painted a butterfly,” said Carolyn Fisher.

Some rocks have inspirational messages, while others are magical Harry Potter rocks, while others still are just decorated with bright colors. The idea is to spread positivity and encourage creativity by posting your designs and others on Facebook.

“I have three boys – they are 10, 8, and, 5 – and I think it’s that something all three of them can do,” said Perla Mondriguez. “It’s really difficult to find activities for all ages, and especially when you have a child with special needs like we do.”

Kyan and Mason said they made more than 50 rocks. Mason said the nicest thing they wrote was “probably something like ‘love life’ with a heart.”

“It gets people out into the playground, and you meet your neighbors,” said West Orange Councilwoman Susan McCartney.

“This got them out of house — away from their phones; away from their laptops,” said West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi.

Residents told Baker the West Orange love rocks game has created a real sense of community. Families have started hiding rocks in neighboring towns to spread the love.

There is a rock painting party in West Orange at Lyric PAC on Aug. 24.

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