Kindness Rocks spread joy around Chicagoland

“I got a rock!”

That cry is going up in communities around Chicago and the rest of the world, leaving Charlie Brown fans scratching their head at the enthusiasm that always accompanies it.

It’s a game of hide-and-seek, with kids being elated, rather than being disappointed, to find colorfully painted rocks with positive and affirming messages on them.

Cape Cod resident Megan Murphy began The Kindness Rocks Project in the spring of 2015. She wanted to spread encouragement and kindness to others. Her idea? Drop random inspirational rocks wherever she could to be discovered by unsuspecting residents. The idea caught on in a big way and has gone international. Rocks have been found in countries from Thailand to Ireland, and everywhere in between.

Kindness rocks have been found throughout Chicago, and Naperville in particular has embraced the project. Naperville resident Ann Zediker first heard about the project from her aunt in Elmhurst. An inspired Zediker started the Kindness Rocks Naperville project and the Naperville Park District and the Naperville Police Department have joined the community in wholeheartedly embracing the effort.

The Naperville Park District encourages using their 137 parks in the community to hide the rocks, but asks that people do so in planters and planting beds. Thirty members of the Naperville Police Department painted rocks with uplifting messages, crime prevention strategies and pictures and hid them around town, according to a post on their Facebook page. Some of the community responses on the post are truly heartwarming. 

Anyone can join in and spread positivity. It’s as easy as finding rocks and painting them with any image or message that makes you happy. Then, you hide them. 

If you discover a rock, you have options: leave it, re-hide it or keep it. There are Facebook pages where you can share your treasures. 

Painting and hiding kindness rocks can be a great summer project for kids that allows them to be creative and to spread kindness to others. It’s also inexpensive and not too time consuming. You can do it as a family, host a gathering of friends to paint rocks or find an event around town. 

Learning Express in Naperville is hosting a hide-and-seek rock painting event for kids ages 5 and up on Aug. 7 from 3-4 p.m. Reservations are required. You can make them by calling 630-922-3334.

Kindness rocks are a wonderful reminder for our kids that kindness is all around. Encourage them to create it and to be on the lookout for it!

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