You know, sometimes kids don’t know how to have real fun, especially as they stay in their rooms watching video games, texting, browsing, and are generally occupied with their digital gadgets.
Before now, games like Hopscotch were all the entertainment people had. It is entertaining and relaxing and keeps kids outdoors.
This timeless game is as fun as it is dynamic, easy to play, doesn’t require equipment, and has lots of variations that can spice the game up.
Read on, and we will tell you how to play this game.
A little About Hopscotch Game
Hopscotch is an exciting game with an equal history. It’s a game that has been around for a while. Many of us played the game as kids many years back (well, not that far back. We are not that old)
The game of Hopscotch is played by one player at a time, throwing a marker – be it a beanbag, stone, or any other object, into a pattern of squares that is drawn on the floor and which the player hops through the shapes without touching the lines to retrieve the object.
It is believed that the game of Hopscotch began in Rome, where Roman soldiers exercised and practiced their footwork by running along large hopscotch courts in full armor.
Their kids started copying these courts, but they made theirs smaller and added a scoring system, which is how the beautiful game came about.
Today, the game of Hopscotch that started as part of a soldier’s workout routine has become a favorite pastime in many countries worldwide. This game which is more than mere entertainment, holds a lot of benefits for kids.
Benefits Of Playing The Game Of Hopscotch
There are incredible benefits that accrue to kids who play the game of Hopscotch. This game helps them physically, mentally, and socially. Here are just the benefits of Hopscotch that make this game well worth playing.
It Helps In Children’s Cognitive Development
To play the game of Hopscotch, kids must follow a set of rules. These rules mean that many thought processes and brain work go into playing the game.
Through the game, preschoolers can learn to throw objects, jump through squares, and determine whether to land on 1 or 2 feet. All these small thought processes help stimulate cognitive development.
It Helps In The Development Of Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills like strength and balance are developed in kids that play Hopscotch, and this is because, throughout the game, kids must practice keeping their balance as they hop on their feet and even as they swap between hopping on 1 foot at a time and two together.
Kids control their whole bodies while jumping during the game and build strength in their young bodies.
Hopscotch Is Great For Hand-Eye Coordination
For a kid to place an object on the right square and then be able to retrieve it without touching the line involves a lot of hand-eye coordination, and the more they play, the more coordination. This skill will be helpful for them in the future, especially in sports.
The ability of a child to use both sides of the body in a coordinated way is referred to as bilateral coordination. It might seem like an essential skill, but it is helpful for kids in performing everyday tasks like eating, dressing, and cutting.
Bilateral coordination also helps kids in activities such as jumping, riding a bike, or learning a sport. Hopscotch as a help helps kids to develop bilateral coordination.
Hopscotch Help Kids Develop Mathematical Skill
We know that the squares on a Hopscotch court are numbered. When kids, especially preschoolers, play the game and say the numbers they see printed on the squares as they jump through them, it helps them appreciate and experience numbers in a practical way that helps them develop numerical skills.
Hopscotch Helps To Hone-In Social Skills
When kids play Hopscotch, they have to interact with other kids. They learn to take turns, cooperate with others, and be considerate of others. These are critical social skills they will need as they navigate life.
How Do You Play Hopscotch Step By Step?
Setting up Hopscotch is easy, and it is adapted to the age of kids as young as years and above. To play the game, you follow the procedure below:
Get Your Materials Ready
You don’t need much to play the game of Hopscotch, all you need is chalk or any material you can draw lines with on the ground, and if you are playing the game indoors, you can use masking tape to restrict the boxes. It would be best to have a small marker to toss, a pebble, a twig, a bean bag, a bottle cap, buttons, and the like to work fine.
Draw A Hopscotch Court
You can now draw the hopscotch court on the floor with your materials ready. The court size is up to you, but the legal court has 8 to 10 squares alternated side by side as single and double squares.
Usually, the 10th square is larger than the other squares because it is designated as the rest square-where the player can land on both feet. The 10th square can also be drawn as an oval if you so wish, and it is called “home” or “heaven.” Players can put down their feet there, rest a little and regain their balance before retracing their steps.
Throw The Marker
Now that your hopscotch court is ready, you can play the game. The first thing to do is to decide which player plays first. You could go from the youngest to the oldest or vice versa, or you can rhyme out the good old “Eeny, Meeny, miny moe” to see who takes the first turn.
The first player tosses the marker into the square numbered 1. If the marker lands within the square’s boundary without touching the line, then the player can continue, but if the marker touches any lines or lands outside the first square, the player loses their turn and then passes the marker to the next player. However, if the player gets it, they move on to the next step.
Jumping Through The Grid
If the player tossed the marker to the correct square, they hopped on one foot. You do not step on the square with the marker. You skip that square and hop to the next square.
When the player gets to places with two squares side by side, they will put both feet down together – one on each square.
Turn Around and Retrace Your Steps
When the player gets to the grid’s last square, they will turn around while still hopping on one foot and head back toward the start. If the final square is, however, a safe spot – which it usually is, the player can now land on both feet.
When the player reaches the square before the marker, they will bend over, reach out, and pick it up. Afterward, they skip over the square with the marker and complete the rest of the grid. If they do this successfully, they have accomplished round number 1. The player passes the marker to the next player, who starts their play following the same procedure.
The Marker is Tossed To the Next Square
When all the players have had their first turn, the play goes back to the first player, who goes ahead to toss the marker to the second square, following the same procedure as they did previously. The only difference is that the marker will be tossed at the second square while following all the procedures.
The game’s champion is the first player to complete all the grid squares.
Six Variations of Hopscotch
You can spice up this already exciting game by
You Can Make A Time Limit
You can decide to make the game more challenging by setting a time to specific time for any player to finish a round of the game. You can even use the timer to determine the fastest player as the winner instead of the first player to complete the whole grid.
Sign The Line
It is another fun variation of the game in which players a player can toss the marker to any square of their choice, and when they complete the court, they then sign their name on that square. That means that no one can step on that box again.
Kick The Marker
In this version of Hopscotch, the marker is kicked to the square with their feet instead of tossing it to the square.
You Can Add More Squares
In this hopscotch variation, you can make the court have as many squares as you want. For instance, the court can have 12 or even 15 squares.
Hopscotch is an old traditional game still enjoyed in many regions of the world. This game which requires only a marker and a court-drawn on the ground, is very beneficial for kids’ physical and mental development.
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The game is played by tossing a marker to a given square and hopping with one foot through the grid.
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