The Children's Institute Blog

Rock-Painting at The Day School

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 by The Children's Institute

Lynne White stood in front of her students and some waiting rocks at The Day School of The Children’s Institute on a recent Tuesday and gave the instructions.

“We’re going to paint rocks,” she said. “Why are we going to paint rocks? One, because it’s fun. And, two, we’re going to hide them and there’s going to be a message. We’ll hide the rocks and other people can find them. We’ll talk to them on the computer and we’ll make new friends!”

And, with that, roughly 10 students grabbed for tubes and tip-proof cans in a host of colors – pale blue, cactus green – and started painting away.

One girl painted proudly in blue glitter. Her teacher’s aide, Sally Stewart, said she had painted with her before.

“She’s a pro,” she laughed.

Student Mykenzie Brush already had ideas about where she wanted to hide her rocks: the school bus and two nearby Squirrel Hill businesses – Dunkin’ Donuts and Rita’s.

“You think we could find a spot in the garden?” Lynne asked her.

“Yeah!” blurted out Mykenzie enthusiastically.

“I bet we could,” responded Lynne.

Teachers said the students will start by hiding the painted rocks around Children Institute’s Squirrel Hill building, then extend beyond our borders. They expect to start hiding the around Squirrel Hill soon.

Day School Speech-Language Pathologist Emily Kaplan is doing the painted rock project with about 20 students in three classrooms. She heard about the project through the news but didn’t go forward with it here at The Children’s Institute until she was urged by a fellow staffer.

“The older class goes on community-based outings so I thought it would be really fun,” Emily said. “It’s a good way for them to get out and interact with the community.”

Found one of the rocks? Go to to send back a message!

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