COME OUT AND PLAY | JULY 2018

Hopscotch is a fun playground game that people have been playing for centuries. There are many different variations of the game, but the basic idea is to hop on one foot and avoid stepping on the lines drawn on the ground.

Some of the first people to use hopscotch were Roman soldiers in 1677. The soldiers used it as a training exercise. They would scratch 100 squares into the ground and then hop up and down the series in full battle armor. This training helped to improve their strength, balance and agility. The Romans took their training drill to the British Isles with them. Local children saw them training and made their own variation as a game.

    1. To play, all you need is a flat piece of ground, a piece of chalk and a small stone.
    2. The first step is to draw the pattern.
    3. The most common pattern is to draw several single squares in a row and then two squares next to each other. This pattern can be repeated as far as the space allows.
    4. The squares are often numbered
    5. There are many variations to the hopscotch pattern.
    6. It can be as difficult or as easy as you’d like.
    7. The player must hop through the pattern on one foot. They complete the pattern by landing inside the squares and avoiding all lines.
    8. To make it harder the player can toss a stone, or marker, into the pattern. They must avoid the square where the marker lands by hopping over it.
    9. In another version, the player must pick up the marker on their way back.
    10. The name “Hopscotch” is English.
    11. “Scotch” refers to the lines or scratches on the ground that the players have to avoid stepping on.
    12. The game is called Hinkspie in German.
    13. In France, they often draw the pattern in a spiral like a snail. They call the game escargot.
    14. Children in Croatia play a similar game called skola, which means school.
    15. In Nigeria the game is called Swehi.
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