Ngā huru/Autumn


Play traditional knuckle bones

E tohe e tā te purihi — Persistence has its rewards


Knuckle bones has been played for thousands of years all around the world, including by Māori, who call it Kōruru.

You will need

5 small flat stones per player.

Tips for learning

  • Practise gently throwing 1-2 stones and catching them on the back of your hand.
  • Then try throwing one stone, picking up another, and catching the first in your hand before it hits the ground.

How to play

1.  Hold all five stones in one hand. Throw them up in the air and catch as many as you can on the (flat) back of your hand.
2.  Now push your hand into the air, so the stones fly up, and flip your hand back over, catching as many as you can.
3.  Place caught stones (ruru) aside, keeping hold of just one, then use this stone to play:

  • Ruru tahi (pick up 1): Throw your stone in the air, and pick up one of the fallen stones at a time – putting each in the ruru pile, until all stones have been picked up.
  • Ruru rua (pick up 2): Do steps 1-3 again, but this time, pick up two stones at a time to place in the ruru pile.
  • Ruru toru and wha: Repeat steps 1-3m trying ruru toru (pick up 3) and ruru whā (pick up 4).

For more ideas visit: and search Kōruru.

< Back to all activities