The traditional objectives of this classic game are to toss a marker (a flat stone, a beanbag, etc.) onto each numbered square consecutively, to hop onto the single squares without putting the second foot down, and to skip the square where the marker has landed. But none of these objectives is as important as your child having the opportunity to practice the many motor skills involved. So just let her play – without any penalties paid!
What You Do:
- With chalk, draw a hopscotch grid on the driveway or sidewalk (10 squares, number consecutively, with the numbers 1,2,5, and 8 in single squares and the numbers 3 and 4, 6 and 7, and 9 and 10 in side-by-side squares).
- Your child tosses his marker onto the square marked with the number 1.
- He then hops over that square (when possible, there should be no touching down on the square with the marker on it) and lands on one foot in the square marked 2.
- He jumps in the squares marked 3 and 4 (a two-footed landing with the left foot in the left square and the right foot in the right square), hops (one-footed landing) in the square marked 5, and so on, up the grid.
- At the top of the grid, he turns and follows the same pattern back to the beginning, once again hopping over the first square.
You can play this game indoors by using numbered carpet squares. Or you can use letters instead of numbers in the square to help your child with the alphabet. Ask her to say the letter aloud as she moves onto each square for added learning!
Rae Pica is a children's physical activity specialist and the author of A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child (Da Capo Press, 2006) and Great Games for Young Children (Gryphon House, 2006).