‘Bee Yourself – Kindness Rocks’ is the initiative of ten year old Cadence who delights in ‘behind the scenes’ acts of human kindness that brings warmth and positivity to others. A ‘spin off’ from #KindnessRocks, Cadence’s ’Be yourself – Kindness Rocks’ aims to:
💜 Promote messages that encourage children and young people to have a positive view of themselves.
💜 Encourage development of self-identity in young people and in identifying as part of a wider community that values them.
💜 Encourage healthy esteem in children and young people through simple acts of kindness that connect them with the community.
👉 One in five children experience mental health difficulty. Of these more than 60% do not receive help. Low self-esteem effects eight in 10 students, and suicide is the leading cause of death in young people.
👉 Children and young people often face complex and wide ranging issues including non-acceptance of their neurodiversity or disability, bullying, family breakdown, bereavement, domestic violence, homelessness, poverty and trauma.
As individuals, we may not be able to change a child’s circumstances but we CAN reach out to young people and contribute to giving them the emotional strength they need to thrive.
How Can You Participate?
❤️ Create and abandon (at child friendly locations) painted rocks specifically aimed at children and young people. Write a message on each rock that promotes acceptance of self and others, a child friendly positive affirmation, or a message that you would like to receive.
Young children can be supported to participate by them creating the artwork on the rock and you helping them to write a message that is meaningful to them.
🧡 Encourage understanding and acceptance of differences by educating children and young people on neurodiversity and disability, and by self modelling acceptance, accommodation and inclusion of people who are different from you.
💚 Start conversations with children and young people on mental health well being.
💙 Advocate for ‘whole school’ approaches to children and young peoples mental health. This includes parent / carer engagement, Listening to children’s voices, supporting staff well being and activities around both promotion and prevention of mental health difficulties.
Creating and sharing messages on rocks can be lots of fun – both for the creator and the receiver / finder, but can also be harmful to the environment when not done thoughtfully.
- Please do not remove rocks from their natural habitat – rocks and stones suited to painting can be purchased from hardware stores.
- Please do not place painted rocks in National parks, natural areas or waterways.
Remember to use non-toxic paints and sealers.
- Placing ‘accessories’ on rocks (‘sticky eyes, pipe cleaners, etc) can have a detrimental impact on the environment and add to litter in the environment.
- Be mindful of placing rocks on grassy areas where mowing is likely – the rocks can become caught in mowers and cause injury.
Primer / Undercoat
Paint Pens / Sharpies
Sealer / Varnish (labelled for indoor / outdoor use)
- Wash all rocks, ensuring any dust or dirt is removed.
- Allow rocks to dry completely before painting to minimise risk of paint peel.
- It is personal preference if you wish to undercoat any rocks that you will have a painted background on, or not. Undercoat options include spray on primer or a brush on primer / undercoat.
Decorate your rock
Think about the image and message you want to create on your rock, ensuring each rock shares a child friendly message that supports positive self-esteem, acceptance of self and others and / or acceptance of diversity.
- Draw a draft image and ‘message’ on a piece of paper.
- Use mediums such as acrylic paints, sharpies, permanent markers and / or paint pens to decorate your rock.
- Allow rocks to dry fully (applying PVA, sealer or varnish too early will cause your artwork to run and blur).
Protect Your Rocks
An important part of rock creating is sealing your artwork. Unsealed artwork will peel, run, blur, or wash off, when exposed to moisture in the environment.
- Two – three coats of a water based polyurethane sealer / varnish on both the artwork, and the ‘Bee Yourself Project – Kindness Rocks’ label will protect your efforts.
- Sealer options include brush on or spray sealers and finishes in high gloss, a glaze or a matt / satin finish. The best sealers for rocks are ones that are non-yellowing, and importantly state indoor / outdoor use.
- Applying a light smear of PVA glue over both artwork and label (and allowing PVA glue to dry), prior to sealing with two coats of indoor / outdoor sealant, will help stop smearing that can often occur when applying the sealant.