Make the grade with these Back to School painted rocks!

back to school painted rocks

Kick off the school year with KINDNESS!

Imagine having the back-to-school jitters, feeling a bit unsure about what the new school year will bring. Then, you look down at the ground and spot a painted rock with a message that settles those butterflies in your stomach.

This post not only gives you some ideas for back to school painted rocks, but also encourages you to paint rocks with fun and positive messages and place them around schools at the start of the school year (and, really, year-round, 'cause who wouldn't want a word of encouragement or a reminder to be kind at any time of year?!)

Back to school painted rock for encouragement

How awesome would it be if every rock painter around the world painted rocks and set them out around schools to bring some unexpected cheer at the start of a new school year!?

Here are some ideas of what you can paint!

Sticky note reminders

Ask any teacher what classroom supply they can't do without and they are likely to answer "sticky notes"! And, for good reason. Sticky notes are that must-have teaching supply that are good for way more than just writing reminders.

Back to school painted rock idea sticky note design


How to paint "happy notes"

This simple back to school painted rock idea can be easily customized with different messages. The "you are appreciated" design is perfect when Staff Appreciation Week rolls around ⁠— these painted rocks would make wonderful teacher gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Do you homeschool?
Surprise your child by leaving these happy notes around the house. Maybe they just conquered a skill they've been working really hard to master. Or, you're trying to motivate your child to stay on task. Rather than taking things away ("no screen time until work is finished" sound familiar?), try positive reinforcement by way of painted rocsk!

Rock painting supplies: We used white acrylic paint to prime our rocks and Posca fine point paint pens to draw the lines. And, to seal them, we used a brush-on acrylic varnish.

Keep calm and teach on!

Teachers spend their summer relaxing and perhaps perusing Pinterest for ideas of how they can organize and decorate their classrooms. But, once the school year begins, they may seek ways to re-energize. Apples are a nice gesture, but imagine your teacher's delight when they get to school early in the morning and find one of these on their desk!

teacher-appreciation-painted-rocks track painted rocks

For the love of reading!

Celebrate your favorite book by painting a character or something iconic from the book (for example, all the food the Very Hungry Caterpillar eats!)

Characters from the Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books are favorites of ours. We especially like the themes of friendship and sharing. Plus, that silly pigeon always has us cracking up!

Mo Willems characters elephant and piggie on painted rocks

For older kids, comic book series Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce and Stick Dog by Tom Watson are fun books that cover themes of friendship, school antics and good 'ol goofy humor.

Big Nate painted rock
Stick Dog painted rock

Positive phrases and words of encouragement

The start of the school year may bring mixed emotions for students, teachers and staff. There's the excitement of seeing friends, swapping stories of summer adventures and, of course, shiny new school supplies. But, there may also be anxious feelings. Students may wonder if they'll like their new teacher, if they'll make new friends or if they'll do well in school. And, teachers and staff are hitting that reset button and getting geared up for a new school year. They may have on their mind things like the new classroom dynamics and making sure they have everything in place for a fun and engaging school year.

You never know how seeing a painted rock with an inspirational quote may be just the sign someone needs to remind them that everything will be okay.

Back to school painted rock design ideas


Be kind to one another

While we shouldn't need the simple reminder to be kind to one another, the school environment can bring on situations where the reminder is much-needed. According to Stomp Out Bullying, "bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes."

Help "stomp out" bullying by sprinkling this message of kindness!

back to school painted rocks

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