Miramar kindergarten getting involved with international kindness project

Miramar Central Kindergarten pupils (from left to right) Sofia David, 4, Tariq Adam, 4, teacher Nikki Munro, Olivia ...
RUBY MACANDREW/FAIRFAX NZ

Miramar Central Kindergarten pupils (from left to right) Sofia David, 4, Tariq Adam, 4, teacher Nikki Munro, Olivia Cheng, 4, Cahal Geoghegan, 4 and Liciya-Peach Filo-Smith, 4.

Kindergarten children in Wellington are doing their bit to help spread some positivity in their area.

For the past few weeks pupils at Miramar Central Kindergarten have been involved in a community project which has seen them paint and hide rocks around the suburb, to create surprises for others.

"It's our interpretation of what is becoming quite a popular international movement," said teacher Nikki Munro, who had introduced the idea to the children.

The decoration phase has also offered the opportunity for the young pupils to learn and write  phrases in different ...
RUBY MACANDREW/FAIRFAX NZ

The decoration phase has also offered the opportunity for the young pupils to learn and write phrases in different languages including Te Reo Maori.

"I started it in the kindergarten area so they could get the idea of what it was all about and I decided it would be valuable for our children to write some inspirational quotes on them too."

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The rock painting and hiding concept originated in the US but had quickly spread to several countries including New Zealand.

Miramar Central Kindergarten pupils Tariq Adam, 4 and Cahal Geoghegan, 4 with some of the rocks they have painted in ...
RUBY MACANDREW/FAIRFAX NZ

Miramar Central Kindergarten pupils Tariq Adam, 4 and Cahal Geoghegan, 4 with some of the rocks they have painted in preparation for hiding.

The idea of the game, already popular in Hamilton, Palmerston North and other areas, is to paint a stone, add a coat of varnish to weather-proof it and then take it to a park or playground and hide it.

It appears to be growing in popularity in the capital with a new Wellington-specific Facebook page already surpassing a thousand members in just a few months.

Munro said she had heard vague mentions of the concept but it wasn't until her niece stumbled upon a hidden rock in Upper Hutt that she decided to take it to her pupils.

Pupils at Miramar Central Kindergarten have hopped on the rock hunt bandwagon, painting their own rocks with kind words ...
RUBY MACANDREW/FAIRFAX NZ

Pupils at Miramar Central Kindergarten have hopped on the rock hunt bandwagon, painting their own rocks with kind words and phrases for those in the community to find.

"My niece was just so excited and intrigued that someone had made it special, just for her,"  she said. "I thought it was something I could definitely do here as well."

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The preschoolers have been decorating the rocks with greetings in different languages including Te Reo Maori, as well as writing affirming messages and challenges to express kindness and encourage positive and inclusive thinking.

"They have got really into the creativity side of it, coming up with their own designs and getting inspiration from other rocks they have found." 

While she had been very active in hiding the rocks, Munro had also spoken with parents and caregivers about the project.

"I really wanted to get families involved as well so they have been taking away groups of rocks and hiding them which had seen it spread out into the wider community," Munro said.

*For more information and to get involved, search Wellington Rocks on Facebook.

 - Stuff

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