Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys {Day 13}: Building a Creek Dam

Day 13 Build a Dam Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys

How to Dam a Creek…


  • Old Clothes
  • Towels
  • Shoes That Can Get Wet 

I used to LOVE to do this when I was a kid! Although the best place to do it is an actual creek with lots of rocks around, you can get creative with whatever you have near you. Drainage ditches or even a street gutter after a heavy rain can create the perfect opportunity to make a dam.

Start out by following the creek to a place where it gets narrow. If you choose a wide area you are just making your work double or triple. Next get the largest stones you can find and move then line them up straight across the running water. Once this foundation has been laid, find medium size stones to start stacking into all of the gaps between the large rocks. Last, scoop up the gravel from the bottom of the stream and dump it into all of the little gaps between the large and medium stones to slow the water flow through your dam.

You will notice at this point that the water has filled quickly behind your dam and is spilling over the top. Point these places out to the kids as you work. It was really fun to see the boys work together every time they noticed a spot where the water was pouring through quickly. Of course, when you fill a gap, it fills slightly more and starts spilling over at a new weak point. I think our boys would have worked to fill those gaps until the dam was 10 feet high!


how to build a dam with rocks in a creek.jpg

  Helpful Tips/Resources:

* If you don’t live near creeks with stones, you can also create a dam starting with large logs and filling in gaps with smaller sticks and then gravel or clay.

 teaching boys to dam a creek

Have you ever built a dam as a kid or with your kids? 

3 thoughts on "Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys {Day 13}: Building a Creek Dam"

  1. Crystal says:

    Every year, my family would KNOCK DOWN a dam that beavers built in our lake. The dam was keeping all the bigger fish out that we wanted to catch. 🙂 I remember always feeling sorry for these beavers, whose work we would so quickly destroy, and wonder if they were watching in resigned irritation nearby.

  2. Megan Spires says:

    Just stopping by to tell you how much I’m loving your series here. Getting outside with my 4 boys young boys is something I’m striving to do every day. It’s so important. Thank you so much for all of your amazing tips, wonderful stories and encouraging words.


    1. QuatroMama says:

      This was a HUGE encouragement to me today. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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