Five Stones - חמש אבנים
Updated: May 3
Time: 20-30 minutes; depends on how many players
Five Stones, or "Kugelach," is a simple but ancient game played in Israel. There are different renditions of this game all around the world, but the idea is similar in each one! It's all about your hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills--and lots of practice if you want to master this game!
All you need to play are five small stones of similar weight and shape, or you can buy the stones online or in local game shops! "Kugelach" is the name of the metal cubes used in the game, but it's commonly called Five Stones for obvious reasons.
To determine the first player in the game, all of the players throw the stones up in the air gently and catch them in their hands. Then they throw them up in the air gently and catch the stones on the back of their hand. This is repeated until one player catches more than the others! They will be the first player.
Each round, the players go through a few steps. Keep in mind, you can use only one hand, and you must complete the steps in order, or you have to go back and repeat! Rules vary based on area and tradition, but here are the basics:
How to Play
Throw the five stones on the ground. Pick one up and toss it in the air, and in the meantime, with the same hand, pick up a stone and catch the same one you threw. It's all in one motion and the game moves quickly!
Next, do the same as before, but pick up two stones at a time. In the third step, you repeat as before but pick up three stones at a time and then the remaining stone. During the fourth step, while holding all the stones in your palm, you throw one in the air, put four down, and catch the one you threw. You then reverse it and throw the stone and pick up the four stones.
Now it gets tricky! The goal is to repeat the steps while catching the stones on the back of your hand! This game is challenging but fun once you get the hang of it!
You can watch this Youtube video to get an idea of how the game flows! For more detailed instructions with photos.
We are all at home more because of the Corona, why not pick up a new game that helps you with your motor skills? It's sure to have you laughing and spending a lot of time perfecting your tossing and catching!