Teaching Kindness One Rock at a Time

Hero image
Updated | 4 min read

Kindness rocks, perhaps the next biggest craze?

A few kind words, always needed!

And a movement is born…

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

The Kindness Rocks Project in the Classroom

The Kindness Rocks Project has one simple goal, to promote random acts of kindness in the shape of painted rocks with inspirational words!

It got me thinking, how can we incorporate this idea within the school or classroom environment?

Teaching children to be givers, helps to build their values and provides opportunities to develop kindness, a strength that improves lives and reduces violence and bullying.

So, why not join the rock painting movement and set up your very own kindness rock garden in the classroom? Or perhaps your whole school wants to get involved?

Not only is it fun to design and create these gorgeous rocks, students also learn the powerful skill of using words to inspire and motivate both themselves and others around them!

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

Setting Up a Classroom Kindness Rock Garden

Begin by talking about what kindness means and how it feels with your class. Talk about the ‘warm fuzzies’ you get when you are kind to others and how it makes you feel when someone is kind back to you.

Introduce the concept of a kindness rock garden by watching the below video:

Next, explore the environment and have your students collect a handful of rocks. If you can’t find the right shapes or they are not smooth enough, you can easily purchase rocks from Bunnings or even some cheap shops.

As a class brainstorm kind words that can be written on the rocks. You might even talk to them about planning the design of their rock. Then, it’s time for the fun part… decorating the kindness rocks.

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

You may like to show your students the below image for inspiration.

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

How to Decorate Rocks

Metallic pens and black rocks

This is one of the simplest and quickest ways to decorate kindess rocks. I bought these black rocks from the household section at my cheap shop, but I have also seen them at Bunnings. The metallic pens are found at most newsagents and office supply shops.

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

Are you wondering what kind of paint to use on rocks?

Acrylic paint and permanent markers

If you are happy for this project to get a little messy. This is definitely my most favourite way to decorate kindness rocks. It really allows your students to get creative when designing their kindness rocks.

When using an acrylic-based paint, you will need to do a few layers of the paint to get the vibrant pop of colour on the rocks.

Once dry, your students can use permanent markers or even metallic pens to decorate and write their motivational words on their rocks.

Kindness Rock Garden in the Classroom

Nailpolish rock art

I couldn’t help myself when I saw this idea shared on Pinterest. It took a few goes but the results are amazing! Really make your classroom kindness garden pop with these colourful rocks.

You don’t have to always write kindness words on the rocks. It could be a simple heart or smiley face, something that will brighten someone’s day. And, these colourful rocks certainly brightened my day!

Here’s how to do it…

  • Choose 4 or 5 nail polish colours (bright are the best).
  • Fill a glass with water from the tap and get ready to drop.
  • Start with one drop of the first nail polish colour, this will spread quickly, that’s ok!
  • Keep dropping bits of different coloured nail polish in the middle of each of the circles until you have a colourful pattern as shown below.

Decorating rocks with nail polish

  • Next, get a tooth pick and swirl the pattern around, you must do this fairly quickly so that that the nail polish doesn’t start to set.

Decorating rocks with nail polish

  • Using a rock that has been painted white with acrylic paint, slowly submerge the white side on top of the nail polish pattern.

Decorating rocks with nail polish

Decorating rocks with nail polish

  • Do not drop the rock to the bottom, simply hold it for a few seconds and then pull it out!

Decorating rocks with nail polish

Rock on!

That’s a wrap! Some really cute ideas for decorating kindness rocks. Download our gorgeous Kindness Rock Garden poster to hang beside your classroom or school kindness rock garden.

Once your classroom kindness rock garden has been created. Discuss with your students how you want the garden to be managed. Encourage students to create their own kindness rocks at home to bring in and add to the garden.

Perhaps your students pick a rock that will help them during their school day and return it at the end of the day for someone else to enjoy. Or, perhaps at the beginning of each day students partner up and pass kindness rocks to one another. The options are endless…


We would love to see your kindness rock garden!

Make sure you share your photos on Instagram and tag @teachstarter.


Log in to comment

Get more inspiration
delivered to your inbox!

Receive the Teach Starter newsletter full of tips, news and resources with your free membership.

Sign Up