Cairn Building—an Activity to Talk with Your Family about Balance and Slowing Down

Cairn Building—an Activity to Talk with Your Family about Balance and Slowing Down

Rather than race to the finish, focus on precision, patience, and strategy in this game that also helps you think about the balance in your life.

Cairn Building—an Activity to Talk with Your Family about Balance and Slowing Down 

Download a PDF of this activity’s “recipe” to add to your family activity binder.


What You’ll Need

  • Rocks
  • Paint (optional)


How to Play

1. Gather several small rocks from your yard.

Gather rocks from your yard

2. Paint them, if desired.*

Paint rocks for a cairn

3. Form a cairn with as many rocks as you can, playing with different formations.

Create painted cairns for a family activity

*Did you know? Cairns are often used as landmarks. As you paint, consider something that represents a landmark change or experience in your life right now.



1. Have each family member choose 1–2 rocks; work together to create the cairn.

Work together as a family to create your cairn


2. Assign each rock a number. Roll a die each turn to decide which remaining rock to play next.

Use die to decide which rocks to add


3. Make it faster by skipping step two and leaving the rocks unpainted.

Unpainted rock cairn with rocks from the yard


Why This Matters

Life is often fast-paced. It’s good to be reminded that some things take precision and a slow pace in order to create a meaningful landmark. Discuss the landmarks you can create in your life when you carefully evaluate which pieces in your life belong where and how they best fit together to stand at their best.


Conversation Starter

It’s often easy to start working faster than we are able. What does this activity teach you about slowing down, prioritizing sequence, and taking time to fit things into their proper place? Are there any landmark changes you should make to help balance your life?


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