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Hopscotch: An Ancient Jumping Game

Grids Can Be Drawn in Many Patterns


Don't forget hopscotch when you are teaching the grandkids the games you used to play.

When teaching the grandchildren those classic outdoor games, don't forget hopscotch.

Photo © Susan Adcox

Tradition has it that Roman soldiers played Hopscotch to improve their footwork, and the children's game developed from youngsters watching the soldiers. We do know that it has been played for many hundreds of years, on different types of grids.


Hopscotch is adaptable for kids of preschool age on up.

Where to Play

A concrete driveway or patio is the spot most often used for hopscotch, but an area of dirt or sand is usable, so don't forget about hopscotch on your beach vacations.

How to Play

The first step is drawing the grid. The first player tosses a marker into the first square. The marker must land completely within the square. The player hops through the court, landing on one foot in single squares and both feet in double squares. At the end of the course, the player turns around and moves back to the beginning, stopping to pick up the marker on the way back. If a player steps on a line or steps out of the grid, the turn is over. If the player successfully finishes the course, he or she throws the marker into the second square and repeats the exercise. The first player to move the marker through the entire grid wins the game.


Some play that the player must skip the square holding the marker. Others play that any square which holds a marker must be skipped. This variation can require considerable athleticism.

When hopping in a series of single squares, some require that the player alternate feet.

The classic Hopscotch grid begins with a circle, often named "home." This is followed by three single squares, a double square, a single square, a double square, two single squares and another circle, called "heaven."

Need more help? Watch this video about hopscotch.

See More Classic Kids Outdoor Games

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