A YOUNG boy from Old Basing uses his creativity to bring smiles to residents during the lockdown.
Six-year-old Archie Haddock recently started painting stones and decided to use his creative side to start a community project.
On their regular walks to the Crabtree Plantation, Archie and his mother, Sophie, laid the stones to start the ‘Crabtree Covid Snake’ for people to add and lay their own painted stones during the lockdown.
“He had seen one similar to Yateley,” Sophie explained.
“He’s been painting rocks and hiding them around Basingstoke for a while, so when he talked about doing it I thought it was pretty cute.”
Archie and his family live on Dickens Lane, not far from Crabtree, and walk there regularly, especially during the lockdown.
“So many people are going to be walking right now,” Sophie said.
“So Archie said a lot of people would see it there. We started it maybe three or four weeks ago, with only two stones, and it now has about 160 beautifully painted stones.
Sophie posted the idea on a Facebook group called Basing-stones, encouraging others to get involved and add their stones to the snake.
“So many people have said how beautiful it is. It gives them something to get the kids out of the house,” she said.
“Archie is really creative. He likes legos, painting, doing things with clay.
Archie, who attends the Old Basing Infant School, has painted stones that represent his favorite things, including a ‘Danger Mouse’ themed one and a Lego head stone.
Through the Facebook group, he is also organizing a mid-term competition, where he will give a prize to the person who has painted his favorite stone on the snake.
Sophie added: “It gives them something to focus on. It can be difficult to find things they want to do without playing on the Kindle or watching TV. With that, if I say let’s go for a walk to find more stones to paint, he’s excited.
She said Archie was very happy with the reaction.
“Between his homework, at lunchtime, we say we’ll go see the snake. It’s a little break away from school. Every time we go out he can’t believe it.
“It’s something he can look back on and think about, we did it, I started this.”