AS SCHOOL holidays begin, you may be looking for looking for something different to do to keep your children entertained.
What better way than looking for painted rocks and hiding some for others?
Biloela mother Leesa Hodgson started a facebook page a couple of months ago where people share their photos of the rocks they found around Biloela and hints in where they have hidden some new ones.
"I initially joined the 'Rock Hunters Gladstone 4680' facebook group and thought, this would be popular in Biloela as there's limited activities for kids to do on weekends,” Ms Hodgson said.
" I started the group 'Biloela Rock Hunters 4715' and added all of my Biloela friends.
"From there, they have added their friends and the page now has over 370 members.”
The rapid in which the page grew was not what Ms Hodgson had expected.
"I was blown away by the amount of people getting involved,” she said.
"They all seem to love it and enjoy the excitement of their little ones finding the rocks.
"We have had mums and dads, the local playgroup, and even people without young kids expressing their artistic flair and hiding rocks for other kids to find and enjoy.”
Ms Hodgson said the reason she thinks it has become so popular is that it is something different.
"It's a relatively cheap activity and kids can choose to rehide or keep the rocks that they find,” she said.
"The page involves ideas / inspiration on how to paint rocks, locations on where rocks are hidden as well as photos with their finds in the community.
"It's like a hide and seek for rocks, and the kids seem to love it.”
Another great thing about activity is that it is technology free for the children.
"I have a 9 year old son, Max, he is forever asking to go on his tablet or watch Netflix,” Ms Hodgson said.
"This is a way to get him involved in the community and get him outdoors.
"He likes for me to paint the rocks, but he enjoys hiding and finding them.
"I like it too, cause he's willing to climb trees, and get into small spaces to be able to hide them.”
While most of the locations for hidden rocks have been around Biloela in locations like the Maze, Callide Dam playground and Lions Park, some rocks are travelling even further.
"I have created seven Biloela rocks (Map / White Cockatoo), and have members of our page offering to take them on holidays and drop them off on their travels,” Ms Hodgson said.
"So far we have a rock in the middle of Brisbane - haven't heard whether it has been found yet.
"Also have rocks this year travelling to Melbourne, Tasmania, Airlie Beach, England, Iceland and Taiwan.”
In the Christmas spirit, there was a competition for the best painted Christmas rock.
"The winner was drawn at the end of November and won an Advent Calendar for December on the countdown to Christmas,” Ms Hodgson said.
Keeping the page fresh, Ms Hodgson said she is looking at some ways of keeping the page interesting and new.
"I'm trying to keep the page alive by posting our creations and finds.
"I also teamed up with The Dainty Cup to provide a prize for the finder of the golden fish rock, then I created a corny poem to give hints of where it was hidden.
"I think it was found within 30min of me hiding it on my way to work.
"It would be great to get more local businesses involved, painting a rock and providing a small prize on selected rocks.”
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