WA Rocks craze sweeps Perth, encouraging outdoor play while kids hunt for painted rocks

WA Rocks is the name of a new craze sweeping Perth. Picture: Leeanne Thwaite/Facebook.
WA Rocks is the name of a new craze sweeping Perth. Picture: Leeanne Thwaite/Facebook.

A NEW craze for kids and parents has been sweeping Perth – and it’s encouraging children to get outdoors.

The WA Rocks Facebook group – which was only created three months ago – has already clocked up more than 40,000 local members.

Founder Alana Stevenson said she was inspired by an idea from a group in her husband’s hometown of Palmerston in New Zealand.

The group encourages people to paint rocks – unpolished, clean dry rocks are best – and hide them in public areas for people to find.

Rock painters usually post a picture of the rock to the Facebook group, telling members the general location.

Those hunting rocks can also post pictures of them when they’ve found them, and either keep them or hide them again, each time updating the Facebook post so that group members are aware.

Ms Stevenson said she thought it was a great way to get her kids Morrison (10) and Wesley (3) away from their screens and outside the house.

“It’s a common complaint from parents that their kids are ‘tech-obsessed’ and mine too were heading that way, so this seemed like the perfect solution,” she said.

“Given that we’re just three months old and have over 40,000 members I am amazed how this has taken off.

“My son and I painted constantly at the start to flood the community with our rocks.

“Once a few people caught on it snowballed really quickly.”

Ms Stevenson said it had initially started out as a children-focused activity, but the age range in the WA Rocks community went up to 91.

“I think the appeal lies in its simplicity,” she said.

“It’s getting people socialising, creating, and getting out into the fresh air.

People are always looking for free activities to do as a family.”

Facebook groups have now been set up in other states around the country and Ms Stevenson said the group had received interest from overseas.

“We’re still so new and it’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon,” she said.

“We hope the attention WA Rocks has received will spur others to start up in their countries and we can really take this global.”