Hopscotch is a fun past time, for children and adults alike. You’ll still catch me doing a hopscotch if I’m standing in the playground next to one. But is there more to hopscotch than meets the eye?
Won’t keep you in suspense… Yes, there is!
There’s a lot more going for hopscotch than just a bit of fun, and we’re here to tell you all about it.
Where does hopscotch come from?
Some experts believe that Hopscotch dates back as far as Ancient Rome! It has been suggested that Roman soldiers would compete in 100 foot long hopscotch courses, dressed in heavy armour; in order to build endurance. Others have argued that it came even before that, played by Roman children. It wasn’t mentioned in English print however until around 300 years ago. This game has really stood the test of time! Though it used to be referred to as “scotch-hopper”
Diversity of hopscotch
The way I remember Hopscotch doesn’t actually stand with the rules of the game, for me, you hopped and jumped depending on the layout of the squares. Though in actuality you are supposed to include stone throwing in this game. Hopscotch isn’t only enjoyed the way I remember it, there is the variation of including throwing a stone onto 1, hopping past it without touching the 1 box, and returning, then doing the same for 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. This variation dictates that the stone must land fully in the area you are aiming for, and not touch a line. This is played in groups so player one must complete every throw successfully, and make it to the end without falling, standing on a square or standing on an area with a stone. If they fail, player 2 starts from the beginning and so on.
Image from British Heart Foundation's Active Playgrounds Booklet.
- Children learn to master body control.
- They will also learn to control body rhythm which is the core of other numerous skills.
- Movements involved build balance, as well as hand/eye coordination.
- Hopping signals advances in physical coordination, balance, and cognitive development.
- The rules of hopscotch encourage spatial awareness.
- Taking turns helps with social development
- Muscle strength is improved
- Develops motor skills
- For young children, it’s like a social campfire. Everyone loves hopscotch!
- Maths aptitude: You can ask the children to only hop on even numbers, then odd ones, and use this game as a multiplication, subtraction and addition tool.