Curling is like a mix of shuffleboard on ice and bowling. Only curling lets you slide on ice, ‘throw’ stones, yell and shout for fun, and knock your opponent’s stones out of the way!
Curling can be played by all ages and with minimal equipment and is a fantastic team sport. It also helps improve balance, agility, coordination, and strength and is a great way to learn how to play well together.
Don’t forget to Hurry Hard!!
- Garden hose, bucket/spray bottle
- 8-16* identical freezable containers: bowls, plastic cups (we found ice-cream bowls from the dollar store worked great) *each team of four people gets eight stones – you could reduce this number if fewer are playing. We made a couple extra in case some broke during play.
- Paintbrush/small spray bottle
- Food dye (at least two colors)
- Optional: brooms for sweeping, grippy shoe covers/ice cleats
- Optional for summer: wax markers (or masking tape) for concrete/flat surfaces (non-permanent but last longer than chalk)
Winter: Packed snow that has been watered down and allowed to freeze.
Summer: You can just use a smooth, flat surface like a concrete or asphalt driveway or planking and keep it wet with water to allow the ice to skim the surface. For marking circles and lines in summer, see the supplies list.
The “curling sheet” can be smaller if you want to keep kids off the ice for safety, or make a larger rink for a more realistic experience (where players slide on the ice and sweep brooms to make the stone change speed)
We made this post to keep it simple, just an introduction with minimal time or fuss. We just made a dual “rink” for bowling and curling, with no shoe-sliding areas on the ice for extra safety.
instructions for the ice playing surface
Find a flat, level area of snow
Flatten the area down with your feet
Add more snow if needed for a depth of 1-2 inches
Scrape it level with a rake or shovel
Build some snow walls around, if desired, to keep the curling stones inside when playing.
Spray the entire surface with a gentle mist (the simplest is to run a hose from the house, or you can use a spray bottle). Wait a short while for the top layer to freeze a little. Repeat until the surface has a decent layer of ice.
We had to go slow mo’ and use a hand spray bottle to coast the surface, then wait for it to freeze.
When frozen hard, we used buckets of water – flooding the surface once, allowing it to freeze, and repeating until a thick ice-playing surface was built up.
Dilute some food coloring in some water, and use a paintbrush to draw the curling markers in the center of the ice (or you could use a spray bottle)
Summer: You can use wax markers or masking tape for the markings (see supplies list)
Instructions for the Curling Stones
Each team uses eight stones. You could reduce this number if fewer are playing or if your playing area is small. We made a couple extra in case some broke during play. It’s more important to ensure all the stones are the same size.
Lay the containers outside and fill them up equally with water, leaving a centimeter or two for the ice to expand. Allow to freeze.
Or, lay them on cookie sheets and freeze them indoors in your freezer.
We tried a bunch of options (see photo) The best ended up being the striped dollar-store ice cream containers.
TIP: add food coloring before freezing. One color for all stones per team (we used red for one team and blue for the other).
Remove the ice from the containers.
TIP: Bring them indoors for a few moments to defrost slightly so they slide out easier without breaking.
Here is a kid-friendly version of the rules.
If you have detail-oriented kids, you can web search official rules. These rules are simple and introduce curling as a fun activity!
Another option is ice bowling – you can have fun in summer and winter!
See this article for instructions for ice bowling! (Coming soon)
The Big Sis