Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fun hiking activity: Skipping rocks

Photo courtesy of Photoree.
One of the best hikes to take with children is one that leads to a lake or pond. Children generally find water interesting, and it’s a fun-filled environment offering all kinds of distractions for them. And one of the most fun distractions there is skipping rocks.

Believe it or not, most kids don’t instinctively know how to skip a rock. Heck, most adults don’t either. It’s easy to teach (and learn), though.

The first challenge is to find the right stone. A good skipping stone is flat, triangular (circular ones are less stable), about the size of the palm throwing it, and weighs around two ounces.

Holding the skipping stone properly is the next step. Place the thumb on top of it and the middle finger below it, then hook the index finger around the edge.

Standing up straight, face the water at a slight angle. Keeping your hand with the rock low, spin it outward and downward with a quick snap of the wrist. An ideal throw will hit the water parallel to the surface.

Also, always throw faster rather than harder. Strength will send the rock sinking while speed will make it bounce.

You can turn it into a small competition with yourself or others by seeing how many skips your rock will do.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.