Don’t let the cold winter days take the fun out of play. Recycle your way to an afternoon full of hopping, counting, art and giggles for all! Turn any indoor space into a colorful hopscotch board using simple materials. Your child can use cardboard boxes and sidewalk chalk or markers to create a unique hopscotch set that will provide hours of entertainment.
The indoor hopscotch activity will help your child to improve motor skills, balance, and self-regulation behaviors. Additionally, this game will encourage him to learn about math concepts such as number recognition and counting, elements of art including shape and line, and the environment (reusing cardboard materials!).
What You Do:
- Flatten the boxes. An adult may want to cut or trim the boxes to an appropriate size or shape to fit the indoor space being used.
- Have your child draw the hopscotch board using the chalk, markers, or crayons. Concentrate on the lines and shapes (squares). Ask him to name the shapes he makes to you. If you are using sidewalk chalk take extra caution when it comes to dust and mess. Also remember that the chalk may wipe off onto clothing or skin. If this is a concern try using large crayons instead.
- Ask your child to help draw numbers in the squares. If he is not ready to write numbers alone, try lightly drawing the numbers first and then encourage him to trace over them.
- You are now ready to play! Your child can throw the beanbag (starting at the number one) and hop his way through counting as he goes along.
Try variations of this activity for an added treat. Instead of numbers, ask your child to write letters (starting at ‘A’) for an alphabet themed hopscotch board. Other options may include animals, vehicles, or colors.
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.