The beginning of ‘the lockdowns’ in the UK may seem like a lifetime ago to some and only yesterday to others. Even if you’ve been living under a rock this whole past year however (yes, punny, I know), you will have heard of and maybe even taken part in the pebble painting craze!

The first time I came across a painted pebble, I was walking my dog in the ‘one exercise a day rule’ last Spring. I came across a brightly coloured bumble bee placed strategically along the path. Curious, I picked it up and turned it over. There, sure enough, was written a # with the phrase ‘bee happy’. Smiling at the pun, I took a photo, posted it on my village facebook page and put the bee in my pocket, ready to hide it again along my dog-walking route.

Since that moment, I have watched as the pebble painting trend spread across the internet. Although this was the first time it was fully coming to my intention, lockdown was not the origin of this trend. The origin of pebble painting dates back to the ancient civilisations, more specifically 3rd century CE Scotland (200AD). Over 50 of these pebbles have been found with Celtic design, most notably in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. It is thought that these artefacts were intended as “charm-stones” to heal sickness in animals and humans.

The Kindness Rocks Project™ is a viral trend which was started in 2015 by Megan Murphy.                                               The first painted rock was placed on a beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts but in the past 6 years, the practice has spread across both oceans to Australia, the U.K. and beyond. It has had many derivations over the years, making an appearance as the ‘COVID snake’ in Buxton, Derbyshire last year, but credit must still be given to the Project that started it all.

So why not spread some love around your community this spring and paint a pebble? You can leave it right outside your door if you wish or you could combine this #MakeitforMay prompt with our 5K challenge!

Remember to post any painted pebbles you’ve made or found on social media! Don’t forget to tag @No5YoungPeople and use the hashtags: #MakeitforMay and #TheKindnessRocksProject

 

Where it all started:

Useful articles:

https://www.parentmap.com/article/painted-rocks-treasure-hunt-kid-craze

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/painted-rocks-rules-you-need-1430228

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-52728687

https://theconversation.com/five-covid-customs-which-emerged-during-lockdown-146130

Jemma S – Young Ambassador