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Ten Easy Rock Games

Ten Easy Rock Games –


Photo by Ir Solyanaya

Isn’t it great to walk around Quartzsite and pick up beautiful rocks?  The kind of rocks that the rest of the world wants to buy?  So what could be more Quartzsite than rock games!

So you’ve collected a colorful pile of stones.  Now what to do with them?

Well, play with them of course!  Rock games are perfect for every age.  Play alone, or play with others.

All you need is your imagination!  And some rocks, of course.

Half the fun will be collecting the perfect rocks for each game below.

Safety note – when hiding and seeking rocks out in the desert, make sure you aren’t putting your hand into the habitat of  snakes and other dangerous critters.  Grown-ups, teach your kids what to watch out for.

1) Hide the Thimble –


This is great fun for all ages, but especially for younger kids.  It can be played indoors or outdoors.

It’s basically “hide and seek” with a thimble–or any substitute, like a distinctive rock.

One person hides the rock, while the others cover their eyes.

Photo by Kindel Media

Once the rock is hidden, the game’s afoot!

The game is also called “Hot or Cold,” when the hider gives hints by saying “cold” and “colder” when the seeker is getting farther away from the rock, or “hot” or “hotter” when getting closer to the rock.

Who could forget adding emphasis by yelling “freezing cold!” or “burning hot!” to the seeker.


2) Concentration –


This is a great game for two or more players.  It’s more challenging than Hide the Thimble.

Photo by Melissa Genson

Mark each rock with a letter or number.

One player hides the rocks while the other hides their eyes.  You can do this inside or outside.

When the rocks are hidden, the player who hid them–the “hider”–gives directions to the “finder” about the order the rocks need to be found.

For instance, if rocks numbered from 1 to 10 are hidden, the hider might say to find the rocks in that order.  A rock can only be turned over, or collected, after it is found in the correct order.

If a rock is found out of order, the finder needs to turn it back over and return to it later.  The goal is to remember where it was found.  It works like the old TV game “Concentration.”

You can do the same thing with alphabet letters.  Or spell a word.  It’s up to the players!


3) Tic Tac Toe –


If your rocks are all one color, you can use a Sharpie to mark them with Xs and Os.

If you have enough rocks of two different colors, just decide which color will be X, and which color will be O.  No need to mark them!

Photo by Melissa Genson


You can either make a Tic Tac Toe grid with paper or cardboard.  Just mark two lines going up and down, and two lines going side by side, to make a grid with nine spaces.  You’ll have to make your grid the right size for your rocks.

Or use a stick to make your grid in the sand!

Just get three Xs or Os in a row–up and down, side to side, or diagonally.


4) Hop Scotch –


You can either draw a Hop Scotch grid on the pavement with chalk, or in the sand with a stick.

Or take some time and design your own Hop Scotch grid with rocks!

If kids don’t know how to play Hop Scotch, rest assured that there should be a grown-up around who remembers.

Especially in Quartzsite!  Where there are so many grey-haired kids-at-heart.  Just ask!


Photo by Antonius Ferret

5) Hop on Rock –


You can make this game as easy or as difficult as you want.  Gear it to the ability and age of each player.

Place the rocks where each player needs to hop from rock to rock.  You can do it with one foot at a time, or with both feet.  If a player misses the rock, their turn is over.

The longer the trail of rocks–and the greater the distance from rock to rock–the harder the game.

A great way to get exercise, and to develop agility!


Photo by Luna Lovegood

6) Tightrope –


Make a row of stones that each player needs to walk like a tightrope.  Add some twists and turns to make it interesting.

To be safe, make sure the stones are small and rounded.  Plenty of those to be found around Quartzsite!


7)  Rock Stacks –


Photo by Pixabay

You can play this alone, or with friends.

This game requires flatter rocks, like in the photo at the top of this article, and the photo to the right.

Just keep adding rocks until your stack collapses!

Multiple players can play with one stack.  The player whose rock causes the stack to collapse, loses.

Or players can each collect their own rocks, to build their own stacks.

Each player takes turns putting a single rock on their own stack.  The last stack standing, wins!

The strategy is picking the best rocks for a tall stack.

That takes some practice!


8) Shell Game –


Photo by Melissa Genson

The original shell game was played with nut shells.  That’s where the name comes from.

This is a simplified version of the original shell game.  It takes two or more players.

You’ll need three or more “shells.”  The more shells, the harder the game.

Your shells can be anything that can be turned upside-down to cover a small rock.  You can use sea shells, walnut shells, old cups–whatever you can find.

One player hides a small rock under one of the shells while the other players hide their eyes.  The other players try to guess which shell hides the rock.

Whoever guesses the right shell, gets to be the next player to hide the rock under a shell.


9)  Treasure Hunt –


There are many different ways you can play Treasure Hunt.  Your only limit is your imagination!

A great Treasure Hunt always starts with a great story.  This is the best part!

Each player writes a secret message on a paper and wraps it around a rock.  Secure the paper with a rubber band, a string, or scotch tape.

For a more complicated game, players can have multiple rocks with secret messages.  Each message can be a clue for how to find the next message.

Players hide their rocks and messages.  Then they gather together for the fun part–the stories!

Each player makes up a story to go with along with their secret message, hidden with their rock.

You can make your story into a poem, a treasure map, or anything fun.

Make your story as imaginative as you can!

You will be sending the other players on a quest to find the rock and the secret message.

That’s it!  You’re playing hide and seek for secret messages.

Photo by Monstera


And of course, it’s always best to be prepared and well-dressed for your quest.

Adorn yourself with homemade crowns, capes, and magic wands, like our friend above.

Just to be safe, you might want to take a snack.

The hunt is afoot!


10) Miniature Zen Garden –


Photo by Cottonbro

Zen Gardens are also called Japanese Rock Gardens.

In the sixth century, Zen Buddhist monks created the first Zen Gardens to aid in meditation.

Zen Gardens are generally dry gardens, that are carefully raked.  They can also have desert cactus and wildflowers, as well as rocks and other decorations.

The idea is to create a calming space.  Raking the sand and arranging the objects aids in relaxation.

You can creature your own miniature Zen Garden.  Quartzsite has an endless supply of sand, pretty stones, and interesting sticks and branches.

You can create your own rake out of a small branch.

If you make your Zen Garden out of desert sand, make sure you keep it outside.  After all, we won’t want to introduce mini desert critters into your living space.

You can make your Zen Garden out of any container–a box, a carton, the bottom of a plastic jug.  See if your favorite store has a flat box to spare.

Start with colorful small stones to create a beautiful rock display in your Zen Garden.  Add some sticks, shells, small toys, marbles, mirrors, or anything else that makes it lovely.

Set out your Zen Garden and leave a note inviting others to add their own objects to your display.

Who knows whose spirits you will lift and soothe, with your simple little Zen Garden!


Feature Image by Tina Nord.

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