Now that the ground was open I could begin creating a proper field. In this endeavour I had wonderful help. While I raked and piled the dirt into mounds, my children followed and threw the stones off to the sides. As I’ve noticed happens with kids, what began as a chore slowly morphed had more rules and challenges added to it so that in the end it became a game. As long as they were happy (and careful as they whipped little rocks afield!) I wasn’t going to hinder them.
I am happy to report that in an evening I was able to form proper mounds of earth and that our patch now has fewer stones than it did before.