Five Stones

Credit : National Heritage Board, Singapore

I remember when I was in Primary School, the girls in my class were playing five stones whenever the teacher was missing in action. I have never tried playing them as I thought it was more of a girls’ game. So until now, I’ve yet to play them.

They seems to have disappear from my memory until recently this year I saw them again at the National Heritage Fair at Suntec. Likes see how it was played;

So why was it called Five Stones since the pyramid bag contained either beans or sand. It is because Five Stones was originally played with real stones or pebbles. To play the game, one has to complete a series of complicated movement by tossing and catching the stones without missing them. The movement becomes more complicated as one proceed on.

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14 Responses to “Five Stones”


  1. 1 a passerby Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    I’m only 18 this year, but when I was in primary school we actually still played this for a short time (when I was about p3-4). It was a bit of a trend for a while… Nowadays I think few kids play it, although I felt accomplished being able to do the more complex throws back then.

  2. 2 Gerard Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Lau Kok Kok,

    The 5-stones sure brings back wonderful memories of playing with the neighbourhood children along the common corridor in those 3-room HDB flats. Everybody knows everyone, from young to old. Keep up your blog as it really means something to some of us. Anything on `hantam bola’ that you may have blogged previously?

    P/S : Nice to know that you hv included by blog “A Road Less Travelled” on your blogroll. I hv recently shifted to using wordpress. All my blog contents still remain the same but now residing at : http://www.blogofsorts.wordpress.com

  3. 3 laokokok Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Hi Passerby,
    Yes, I think the kids nowadays play more of Gameboys, PSP, Xbox, etc.. then those stones haha.

    Hi Gerard,
    Welcome here. I’ve not touch on ‘Hantam Bola’ yet. Thanks for the reminder. Oh, another migrating to wordpress…

  4. 4 ling Friday, November 23, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Hey..this is my fav game in sch days! :p

    I dont think my kids will come to know this game when they start schooling. 🙂

  5. 5 Lam Chun See Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    “Yeee .. so sissy one!” Surely that’s we would say if we had caught you playing this game LKK.

  6. 6 laokokok Monday, November 26, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Haha that’s why until now I still don’t know how to play it, Chun See…

  7. 7 pristan Monday, November 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    cool!! when i was young (long ago), i was an expert in 5-stones and that jumping over rubber-bands game – zero-point! What do kids play in school nowadays anyway?

  8. 8 echa Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    hello,
    i was wondering, if five stones a traditional malay game or chinese game or both?
    thaaanks!:)

  9. 9 Whah Lan and Shoke Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Hey guys,

    What about “Chapteh”, I was one of the champions in my class. Then there was the “Swing Bola”; Goli for the boys and Elastik for the girls.

    Boy! I still remember “Kuti Kuti” and playing it with bottle caps and rubber bands. Those were the days.

    Perphaps they should demonstrate these old games for the younger generation.

    ~Memories.

  10. 10 PETE Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I USED TO PLAY FIVESTONES (CALLED GOBS) IN THE 1950’S AT SCHOOL. WE HAD OTHER MOVES CALLED “CRAB” THAT INVOLVED THROWING THE STONES AND CATCHING AT LEAST ONE THEN MAKING A CRAB WITH ONE HAND THROWING THE STONE INTO THE AIR AT THE SAME TIME KNOCKING THE DISTRIBUTED STONES ONE AT A TIME INTO THE CRAB AND FINALLY THROWING THE STONE AND PICKING UP THE OTHER FOUR STONES, NOW CLOSE TOGETHER, IN ONE SWEEP.
    THERE WAS ANOTHER MOVE I CANNOT RECALL THAT WAS CALLED “GOING TO CHURCH”

  11. 11 pat Steffens Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Please could someone tell me of other fivestone games, besides the original. My friend has come accross an old set that she had as a child, and remembers that there were several other games,

  12. 12 woodworking cnc router for sale Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never
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  13. 13 Sue Deacon Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    in London we used to play this when I was young (60yrs old now). Great favourite with the girls. Always played it with square stone cubes. If didn’t have any we used small stones. My mum remembers playing it when she was young to

  14. 14 JA Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I remember the girls would play this during recess time in Primary school.. the other game is Zero point.. where the girls would jump over a “rope” made up of rubber bands…. seldom if not, never saw any boys play them.. boys would be playing Pepsi-cola 1,2 ,3…. I would later play on my own and master the 4 stones haha! later there was the 5 stones as well..


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