:: a childhood game

Five stones is played by 2 or more players, using 5 small triangular cloth bags filled with rice, sand or saga seeds. The object is to complete a set of eight steps. The winner is the one completing a set the most number of tries. The game is similar to “jacks” but unlike its Western counterpart, is not played with a ball. A modified version is called “Four stones” which is played with four rather than five bags.

Game Play
Step 1: Throw all five stones. Whilst throwing a stone, pick up one stone and catch the stone in the air before it falls to the ground. Do this for each of the stones on the ground.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 but pick up two stones at a time.

Step 3: Repeat step 1 but pick up a combination of three stones and one.

Step 4: Throw all five stones. Pick up four stones whilst one stone is in the air and catch the later before it falls to the ground.

Step 5: Whilst throwing one stone, place the four on the ground. Throw one stone up again and catch it whilst picking all four stones on the ground.

Step 6: Throw all five stones on the ground. Pick two stones. Throw one in the air and exchange the other with one on the ground. Do the same with the remaining stones on the ground.

Step 7: Throw the two stones held at the end of Step 6. Pick up one stone and then catch the two falling stones separately in each hand. Do this until there is three stones in one hand and two in the other. Throw the two stones and catch it separately. Throw the remaining stone and catch it with the hand that has all the stones.

Step 8: Throw all five stones on the ground. The opponent selects a stone to be thrown in the air. The player has to pick this stone without moving any others. The player throws the stone in the air and picks the remaining on the ground in one clean sweep.

If at any point of time the player fails to complete this set of eight steps, he/she will have to forfeit his turn to his opponent. Upon his opponent’s failure to complete, he will return to the incomplete step, starting from the very beginning of that step. {Info taken from Infopedia}

I have always been fond of this game. When we (my daughter and I) were making these tiny triangular bags and filled them with rice, I was all smiling and remember how we (my friends and I) would quickly finished off our food during recess time and start our games. It was fun!

I am not sure what the children play in school these days, but I miss this game. We used to play with pebbles before we got ourselves these tiny cloth bags. We went as slow as possible because it can be quite painful when we tried to grab all the pebbles together.

During our recent Church camp, a group of skillful ladies came together and we played this! It was fun seeing how each one of us trying our best to catch each cloth bag while seated with waist bent over on the floor. We were like young school girls 🙂

I am teaching my children to play this childhood game. Grace is still trying her best to catch the ‘stone’ while it is in the air. She missed a few times and caught it once or twice. But she is not giving up! I think she is going to make her friends play with her the next time they meet up 🙂

How about you playing or teaching this game to your little ones?  ~ ❤ jean.


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