Stone Balancing for Kids

Here’s a nice and simple (not necessarily always easy) thing to do to keep children interested and occupied when you are out and about.

Our project was by the river, but it can be done anywhere that stones can be found – the beach is another very good place. Allocate one person as an unbiased judge and score for height, originality, creativeness or any category you choose to make things more fun.

Take a photograph each time and you’ll soon have a collection. It will become one of those simple things that you do together that they’ll remember even when they’re adults.

Our Efforts

Stone balancing in the river, the water keeps your toes lovely and cool

It doesn’t have to be done in a river. In fact, it usually isn’t. This river is a really good choice as the whole stretch doesn’t get more than ankle deep during the summer.

With no suggestion or instruction from us we found our 8 year old son deep in concentration as he constructed a balanced stone creation in the middle of the river. How could he do this and yet not sit still long enough to finish an egg sandwich 5 minutes earlier?

The first creation
Creation Number 1

And why could he stack far higher and better than any of the adults? It’s simple for kids as demonstrated by his shrugged answer when I asked him why he’d built it:

I've seen them before so I just did it.

It reminded me that the last time we were here he’d investigated a small stack of balanced stones at the side of the river and, before we had chance to say otherwise, he was unable to control his age typical urge to knock them over.

Veeeerrrrry carefully placing the final stones into place
Deep in concentration, the final stones are placed.
The finished seemingly gravity defying structure
This really shouldn’t stay up – but it does.

As we turned around we were met by a couple whose faces looked liked they would never see a beloved friend again. Mumbling “Oops, sorry – 8 year olds!” didn’t quite seem like enough, but what else can you do?

Stacking them up again would be no good as it would never be their exact same unique stone balancing creation ever again.

Mother Holding Baby doesn't impress the kids, but I like it
Adults have a go too. My ‘mother holding baby’ creation - Quietly pleased with it, despite son not being very impressed.

Travelling to various places up and down the British Countryside we have occasionally found similar stacks of stones. We’ve looked into different reasons for stone balancing (for a hobby or art rather than stone stacks that mark the way or the summit, which is a whole different story altogether).

It seems it has quite a following. Some say it helps develop personal qualities such as patience, balance and focus.

Some do it for the shock and wonderment of an audience as they balance seemingly impossible huge stone structures. Others create temporary stone art structures and capture them photographically. For others it’s just a hobby, done for fun or the challenge.

Here are some more examples, but we think you can do better.

Just starting out, with something simple and small
Start out small..
Working up to something complicated and surely impossible
..And work up to something more complicated
Mother Nature joining in on the fun
Mother Nature showing how it's done, with boulders weighing hundreds of tonnes!

Whatever your reason, have fun and remember to take a photograph just in case the foot of the next 8 year old would be stone balancer happens to come along before you’re ready to dismantle or leave your beloved creation.

Then send them to us ……

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