Game of Hopscotch: It Looks Like A Popular Kids Game, But Actually….

Ssssshhhh...don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never really seen the point to a game of hopscotch.

I never played it as a kid.

Even now, I just don’t get it. 

You throw a small stone. A player hops and jumps. Picks up the stone and starts again. 

I don’t know why it's such a popular playground game. Why millions of kids the world over love it. 

But I guess, I don’t really have to understand it. The fact is, millions of kids the world over, do love it. Including Little K. 

It’s an active game that kids love. And when that happens I know there is workout potential. 

So, how do you turn a simple game of hopscotch into fun for your kids and a workout for you?

Let’s take a look….

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Game of Hopscotch: The Background

Game of Hopscotch: Is it a game? Is it a workout?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of do this do that, I thought it might be fun to look a bit closer at hopscotch itself. 

Who knows, maybe it will spark a love.

What's the Point of Hopscotch?

This is a question I’ve asked lots. I asked teachers and parents, grandparents and random strangers (only kidding), when I was younger.

What is the point of hopscotch?

Well, it turns out there is quite a bit of point to hopscotch. 

Of course there’s the’s quite an active game so it gets your kids up off the sofa, away from video games and moving around. Not a problem for my toddler at the moment, but she’s just starting to learn how much fun cartoons are. 

It’s a game. It’s fun. Well, for most. 

So it starts the association of fun and moving your body, which is so important to start at a young age.  

In today’s modern world we tend towards sitting more than moving. And the association of having to exercise. Having to move our bodies can soon start to feel like a chore. 

But if it’s fun, we’re much more likely to do it.

Watching Little K try to play hopscotch is quite a reminder that movements I take for granted, can do with ease, she really has to work on.

It helps your kids to develop control over their body.

Think about it. You have to do certain movements, placing your feet certain places.

It helps to develop important skills like co-ordination, balance, strength and gross motor skills.

It helps to develop social skills. Turn taking etc.

And let’s not forget, there’s numbers involved. So it could quite easily be turned into a maths game.

Huh. Not too shabby for a game I couldn’t see the point of.

Game of Hopscotch: The Rules of Hopscotch?

I’ve always thought there wasn’t really much to playing hopscotch. 

You throw a stone, a bean bag, or whatever it is you’re using. Hop to the end, turn around and pick it up on the return trip. 


It turns out, there’s more to it that than. 

Well, they do say you learn something new everyday.

The basic rules of the hopscotch game are:

  1. Draw your Hopscotch board. A traditional hopscotch grid has 10 squares, but you can have more, or less. 
  2. Player 1 starts by standing behind the starting line, throwing a small object (a small rock or bean bag) into the first square, square 1.
  3. Then comes the jumping. Jump over square 1, land in square 2 and then continue jumping along squares. Hopping on your hopping foot for single squares and landing with 2 feet for the double. 
  4. When you get to the end of the court, turn around and continue hopping and jumping back. 
  5. When you get to square 2, bend over to pick up the marker on square 1, and jump over square 1 to finish the course. 
  6. On the next turn, you throw the marker into the next square, number 2 and hopping through the course again. This time jumping onto square 1 but jumping over square 2 and landing on square 3. Make sure you throw it into the right square.
  7. Your turn is over if you throw the marker into the wrong square, or at any point you touch a line.
  8. If this happens, the next player goes.
  9. The winner is the first player to complete all of the course in one round.
  10. You must start each new turn at 1. 

Game of Hopscotch: Fun Variations

The classic game of hopscotch is detailed above and the original hopscotch pattern looks like this...

Diagram of Hopscotch: A Standard Hopscotch Court

But, you can get creative with hopscotch. You can have your own games.

I’ve seen it being used to teach spelling, sight words, simple words, letter recognition, shapes. Its been a swirl, a flower, bubbles and a bored game.

You can adapt a basic game hopscotch to anything your imagination allows. 

I’m not going to cover these here, because we’re going to be talking about workouts in a minute.

But if you are interested in getting creative, here are a variations of the game.

Alphabet Hopscotch

Spell Your Name Hopscotch

Shape Hopscotch

Game of Hopscotch: The Workout

Ok let’s get to it. Some workout ideas…

Game of Hopscotch - All about the simple

You can play this one traditionally, start at 1 and work through to 10. Or, you can throw randomly. If you miss the court? You forfeit your turn and have to do burpees until your kids have finished their go. 

For this one you’ll keep most of the rules the same and use a standard hopscotch court. 

The only rule to change is, take each round in the first player throws to 1, when they return the second player throws to one. 

This would be really good if you have younger children. Because let’s face it, they’re not going to wait around for you to do all 10 rounds. They want a turn. And understandably so. 

  1. = Squats
  2. = High Knees
  3. = Push ups
  4. = Star Jumps
  5. = Alternate Lunges
  6. = Bum Kicks
  7. = Plank Hold
  8. = Burpees
  9. = Tricep Dips
  10. = Mountain Climbers

For your purposes, you assign each number an exercise, for example 1 = squats, 2 = high knees, 3 = push ups etc. etc. etc. 

Make sure you have a mixture of upper and lower body exercises along with full body cardio exercises. 

Then you throw the marker, hop through like you would normally. When you return and it’s your kids go, you complete that exercise until they return. 

If you are happy for your kids to do the exercises as well, why not write them down instead of the numbers. If you want to keep it classic for your kids, write the exercises on a piece of paper. 

Game of hopscotch - All about the time

If you have enough stop watches to have one per player start all of them at the start of the game. That way, how far your opponents get affects your time as well ;-).

This one you’d play the traditional way, but with the added excitement of who gets it done first wins.

So, when player 1 starts, you start the stop watch. They play hopscotch as per the traditional rules. But, you have to try and work through all 10 rounds as quickly as possible. 

If you land on a line, it’s the next players go and they try and do it as quickly as possible. With the stop watch starting again. 

This one is really good test of time. It’s essentially a race. And what kid doesn’t love a race?

It will certainly keep them interested while you’re working through your rounds. 

Game of Hopscotch - All about 30 seconds

This one is very similar to above, but instead of timing how long it takes you to work through all of the rounds, you see how far you can get in a given amount of time. 

30-45 seconds works quite well. 

For this one, I wouldn’t really worry about line touching etc. 

Just work through for the given amount of time. 

Whoever gets the furthest, wins.

Game of Hopscotch - Obstacle Course

For this one, abandon the idea of numbers, and instead, have movements. 

Movements that both you and your kid can do. 

For example, wiggle like a worm, jump like a star, jump like a kangaroo, kick your legs as high as you can, twirl.

  • Wiggle like a worm
  • Jump like a star
  • Twirl 3 times
  • Run to the next mark (a few metres away)
  • Jump like a frog
  • Dance your left arm
  • Run to the next mark (maybe back, if your struggling for space)
  • Crawl like a bear
  • Twirl 5 times
  • Jump as high as you can

Whatever you choose, make sure your kids would be able to do it, and that’s it quite active. 

You can always demonstrate each move at the beginning. 

If you’re kids like to do traditional exercises you could throw those in as well. 

But, make sure they’re fun. 

Then, play traditional version of the game, going in reverse order as well. You’d miss out the one that the marker lands on.

Or, you could team this with the timed ideas above. 

Game of Hopscotch: Go and Have Some Fun

Hopscotch is a great children's game. It's great for kids of all ages.

I hope these have given you some ideas for you to have some fun with your kids. 

Remember, movement should be fun for you as well. 

It should be fun and consistent. 

So, get moving. Get your kids moving. 

Show them how much fun working out can be. 

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