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….
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.
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 obvious...it’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.
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.
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:
The classic game of hopscotch is detailed above and the original hopscotch pattern looks like this...
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.
Ok let’s get to it. Some workout ideas…
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 turns...so 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.