The playground is a fantastic place to play, whether it’s at break time or during P.E. lessons so we’ve compiled some instructions for popular playground games.
How to play Hopscotch
Hopscotch is a classic game that has been a staple of playgrounds for many years. In fact, Roman soldiers used to play a version of this game as part of their training!
To play this game, you will alternately hop and jump, depending if there is a solo number (hop) or a double number (jump with one foot landing in each space) until you get to the end and work your way back. Single numbers will be one, four, seven and ten, and doubles will be two and three, five and six, and eight and nine.
For a more advanced version, throw a bean bag onto the game area and whichever number it lands on cannot be used. If you step on the ones with bean bags you may lose a turn, but younger children can always be given a second chance (or two).
Variations include time limits (to be adjusted for different age groups or abilities) and answering questions when jumping over the beanbag number. We even have a times table hopscotch!
How to play King Square
King Square is great for improving coordination and agility. To play, you will need a ball that will bounce, a large square divided into four and at least four players. The spaces are named king, one, two and three, though other versions use king, queen, jack and ace.
The aim of the game is to make it to the king position and stay there. One player stands in each space, with the remaining players standing in a queue watching. The first four positions are decided randomly and whoever is in box three will start with the ball and bounce it in their square before hitting it with their hand to another player’s square, where it must bounce. That player then hits it to another play and so on.
Much like tennis, a person may not hit the ball outside the square. If this happens, that person goes to the back of the queue and the person at the front of the line will join the game. If the king is out, number one moves to that space and everyone else moves up. If number one is out, number two moves up and so on.
The new player always starts in square three with the ball. Game length is up to you and if the four players in the square are in for a very long time, you may wish to replace them all at the same time so that others can have a go.
How to play Duck Duck Goose
In the classic game Duck Duck Goose, all bar one of the children sit in a circle on the ground. The remaining player walks around the outside of the circle, waiting for an opportunity to sit down.
The standing child taps each child on the head – gently – and says ‘duck’, until they get to whoever they want to pick and taps them on the head lightly, saying ‘goose’. The goose then chases the tapper once around the circle until either the tapper reaches the empty space and sits down or the goose catches the tapper and the tapper goes for another round.
It’s a good idea to remind players to be gentle with people’s heads and to pick their geese randomly so everyone gets a go. Watch the video below to see a group of 6 children having fun playing the game!
Every playground has their own rules so don’t be afraid to experiment and make the game your own. There will be many ways you can use these games so let those imaginations run wild! We have lots of other playground markings for fun games so make sure you check those out too.