Stone Skipping

By Katherine Spicer, Beloit College intern at Nature At The Confluence | Posted 10-13-17

After planting for the Prairie Planting Party, my friend and I walked over to nearby Turtle Creek. I stood at the edge of the water, appreciating my escape from the college campus. This creek has a little island of sand and stones in the middle that reminds of the creek I played in as a child. As I let my thoughts wander into a peaceful haze, I heard a “sploosh, sploosh, sploosh”. I turned around and noticed my friend skipping rocks!

I would have never thought about skipping stones at the creek if my friend didn’t remind me this game existed. He picked up a small rock, and threw it across the water. His wrist was bent to make sure the rock would hit the water at an angle. It leaped a total of four times. This got me thinking about…

Benefits of stone skipping

  1. It’s a free way to interact with the creek
  2. When choosing rocks, you really have to pay attention to the ground and what is available to you. This can give you an interesting perspective on your environment, since usually we are looking up at what is in front of us and not what is below us.
  3. You get to see and appreciate all the different shapes and colors of the different rocks and sand.
  4. You are stimulating your sense of touch, and feeling how smooth or rugged each rock is.
  5. It’s an activity that people do around the world, so it is almost like you become connected to everyone who has ever played this game.
  6. It can be made into a fun competition of who can make the most leaps with their rock.
  7. The ripples in the water are beautiful to look at, and show the movement of energy.
  8. Watching the rock leap can lead your eyes to places in the creek you haven’t paid attention to before
  9. It can be used to teach a small physics lesson.

To learn more about stone skipping, here is a good source: