FIRST there was Pokemon Go, then fidget spinners and now rock collecting is all the rage in Mandurah.
Given a “paint-lift”, the pastime has taken off like a boulder off a cliff after one Byford woman’s simple idea: paint rocks, then hide them for others to find.
Halls Head mother Tamara Glossop has kept her sons busy decorating rocks and collecting them.
Secret Harbour resident Megan Clarke said she owed her new-found sanity to the pastime.
“We just have fun,” she said. “It’s amazing; I had three 17-year-olds entertained for hours on a Friday night.”
WA ROCKS is an online community started by Alana Stevenson that has grown exponentially in a few short months.
“My mission was to create an opportunity for children to engage in artistic and creative play, as well as give them an incentive to get outside, be active, and explore their local parks and playgrounds,” she said.
“It started small but then suddenly we started getting rocks turning up from all over, from Karratha right through to Esperance.
“Within a month, we had more than 9000 members.”
Ms Stevenson said it was easy to be involved.
“Its simple; you paint your rock, write the Facebook symbol [f] and WA ROCKS on the back, and seal the whole thing,” she said.
“You then upload a picture of your rock, along with the suburb you’ve hidden it in, and a GPS screenshot or photograph of the approximate location.
“To find a rock, you can wait for a drop post near you on Facebook, or search via our search bar for your suburb and all drop posts in that area will pop up, allowing people to then check comments to see if they’ve been found or are still out there.
“Once your rock is found, the finder will upload a picture and the location in which it was found and advise what they plan to do with it. If they re-release it then the cycle starts again.
“We try to encourage a ‘catch and release’ philosophy but it is up to the finder what they choose to do with their find.
“They can keep it, replace it or relocate it.
“The little ones often choose to keep their first finds or their favourites.”
Julie Penny is the convener for the Rockingham arm of WA ROCKS.
“Its not just little kids but adults who have been enjoying it too,” she said.
“There is so much talent out there; some of the rocks are painted exquisitely.”
Karyn Williams said the pastime made her happy.
“I like doing the craft with the kids and we like going to parks; putting the two together keeps us all happy.”
Visit the WA ROCKS Facebook page for details.