Disclosure: This post is sponsored; all opinions are our own.
I was helping my middle son, five-year-old Alasdair, with his jacket the other day.
“Careful, Mommy, my treasure rock is in that pocket.”
This sensitive little boy is constantly filling his pockets with rocks he finds on the playground, carrying these treasures home to add to his collection.
With the snow finally beginning to melt, I thought it would be the perfect time to encourage his habit, pairing it with a little fun and a little life lesson. The fun? Watching Ferdinand and painting Kindness Rocks! The life lesson? Never lose your heart amid the hardships.
Ferdinand is a fun animated movie, inspired by the classic children’s story, but extended to a full length feature (that was nominated for an Academy Award!).
Ferdinand stands up to the bullying taunts of his peers. He cares for others that need help. He preservers against the stereotypes projected on him. He sticks to his non-violent values. He builds relationships with those who are different than he is. He is clever, and caring, and funny. Watching his journey unfold offers so many opportunities to talk with your family about how we perceive others, how we treat others, and how we can be the kindness we want to see in the world.
There are some serious moments and, if you have some sensitive little hearts like in our house, you might be surprised at just how deeply your children – and you! – empathize with Ferdinand as he deals with the loss of his father and his return to the Matador.
But then there’s Lupe, the calming goat (voiced by Kate McKinnon). Check out when she first meets Ferdinand (voiced by John Cena).
After laughing and chatting our way through the movie, we broke out the painting supplies!
Kindness Rocks are such a fun way to indulge your creative side – and then get the art out of your house! These rocks are created to be shared, featuring inspirational and uplifting messages that will hopefully brighten someone’s day when they’re found. We’ve hidden rocks a few times around the community and the kids always love chatting about who might find them, what they might think of their creations, and where those people might hide the rocks next!
Without a doubt, the six-year-old’s favourite part was the puns we used for the rocks. She busted a gut laughing at John Cena’s great puns – and we certainly incorporated as many suita-BULL encouraging comments as we could on our kindness rocks!
A few tips for painting your own Kindness Rocks:
- Schedule time for paint to dry
- If your kids aren’t the patient type, prep the rocks by painting them solid, pastel colours (helps messages show up!)
- Don’t expect your children will follow your instructions about painting the rocks solid colours (embrace the creativity!)
- Fine-tip markers are best for writing messages; the Sharpie oil-based paint markers are our favourite (pick them up when Michael’s has a half-price coupon promotion)!
- Have some sayings ready for little ones to choose from; we opted for classic puns such as You Are Incredi-BULL, BULL-ieve in Yourself, etc.
- Seal your finished rocks with a layer of Mod Podge; no running colours when the rain (or melting snow) comes along.
- Head to the park, the library, or anywhere else you’d like to spread a little kindness and enjoy!
It’s always so much fun to watch the kids create something with such meaning. It’s also so important to me that we encourage them to think of others, to spread kindness, and to embrace their values, including their sensitivity.
I hope whoever finds the ‘treasure rocks’ we hid will be as joyous about their discovery as our little man.
Have you watched Ferdinand as a family? Created Kindness Rocks together? Why not plan a fun family movie night, followed by an art activity, and an outing to spread a little kindness in our community!
The movie is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and for digital download.