Sunday, July 26, 2009

How Do You Feed a Happy Thought Rock?

Remember the pet rock craze years ago? Recently I discovered a positive- energy twist on this old idea. Marie Bryant, a visitor to my Teaching Resources site, sent me an unusual gift - a box of rocks! However, these were no ordinary rocks. Each rock had been hand-painted with a unique happy expression by her husband, Wayne Dalzell. They were adorable! Included in the box was a small stack of cards labeled Care and Feeding. The back of each card said to feed the rock by telling it a happy thought every day. I was enchanted by the idea!

The timing of the gift couldn’t have been better. The rocks happened to arrive the day before two of my students had to retake the state reading exam. I let them each pick out a rock and told them to keep it in their pockets for good luck. I also gave them each a Care and Feeding card and asked them to follow the directions. They were so proud of those rocks! Watching them with the rocks gave me another idea - what if we wrote our happy thoughts in a journal, kind of like a gratitude journal? What a great way to focus on the little positive things that happen every day! So I created a small journal and shared it with Wayne. He liked it and created his own pages for the journal which were even better than mine.

Through several email conversations with Wayne and his wife, I learned that he is a custodian at a California school. He has been giving away his rocks for years just to spread joy to others, and he has lots of great stories about the positive impact they’ve had. He began giving the rocks as rewards to the students with the cleanest classroom each month, and before long he had painted hundreds of Happy Thought Rocks!

I was so touched by the gift of the rocks and by what Wayne is doing that I wanted to share the information with others. I set up a page on my site with the free printable journal and the information about how to order Happy Thought Rocks for your own students or for family and friends. Wayne’s prices are extremely reasonable - in fact, considering the fact that he paints each rock individually by hand, I’m not sure he can even make a profit at those prices! However, at this point he’s more interested in spreading joy to others than in getting rich.

Can you think of a better way to start the year off than by giving your students an adorable gift and having them journal and share their happy thoughts? Wow! The positive energy you generate from this one small investment could totally transform your school year! I’ll keep you posted about how the happy thought idea goes with my students this year, and I’d love for you to post comments here about your experiences with them. Visit the Happy Thought Rocks page on my site for more information and to download the free journal. Make this school year special by pumping up the positive energy in your room from Day 1!


  1. Wow Laura!! Thank-you so much for the opportunity to share the positive energy generated by Happy Thought Rocks!! Wayne created the cheerful face and started hand- painting them on rocks 15 years ago while living in Chico, California. Originally he named them Friendship Rocks and always gave away two: one for the receiver, and one for them to give away to someone who might need cheering up--spreading positive energy and happy thoughts to everyone he met. Inspired by the movie "Hook" and the power of the rocks to create smiles in everyone who encounters them, he started writing "My Happy Thought" on the back of each rock. Over the years, Wayne has painted and dispersed thousands of Happy Thought Rocks across California to schools, retirement homes, hospitals, businesses, and even homeless strangers who happily accepted his gifts. We have seen disgruntled, tired, overworked, worried, and sick people respond to this simple gift with smiles, giggles, excitement, and joy. If you live in Northern California, Happy Thought Rocks are peeking at you from counters, shelves, and computer desks! It still amazes and thrills us to share these rocks--our motivation is simple--fill the world with positive energy while lifting spirits and increasing our love for one another.
    Thanks to Laura, a fantastic support to teachers and students. We love her website, newsletter, and resources--and look forward to being part of her network.

    Wayne Dalzell, The Rock Man
    and Marie Bryant, 7th Gr. Teacher

  2. I am a 5th grade teacher and I can't wait to use these in my classroom. It seems like the negativity in the world seems to overpower the positive so I can't wait to be able to share the "Happy Thought Rocks" with my students. I just ordered a set and they should arrive just in time for school to start!
    -A smile a day helps keep problems away!