Hopscotch
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Hopscotch is a wonderful hopping game that can be played on a bare patch of ground or on a floor
indoors. There are hundreds of variations of the diagram that can be drawn. Use your favorite
version to have children play.

Use chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground or use masking tape on a floor. Create a
diagram with 8 sections and number them. Each player has a marker such as a stone, beanbag,
bottlecap, shell, button, etc.

The first player stands behind the starting line to toss her or his marker in square 1. Hop over
square 1 to square 2 and then continue hopping to square 8, turn around, and hop back again. Pause
in square 2 to pick up the marker, hop in square 1, and out. Then continue by tossing the stone in
square 2. All hopping is done on one foot unless the hopscotch design is such that two squares are
side-by-side. Then two feet can be placed down with one in each square. A player must always
hop over any square where a maker has been placed.

A player is out if the marker fails to land in the proper square, the hopper steps on a line, the
hopper looses balance when bending over to pick up the marker and puts a second hand or foot
down, the hopper goes into a square where a marker is, or if a player puts two feet down in a
single box. The player puts the marker in the square where he or she will resume playing on the
next turn, and the next player begins. 

Sometimes a dome-shaped "rest area" is added on one end of the hopscotch pattern where the
player can rest for a second or two before hopping back through.

Click here for some thoughts on how big the squares should be.

Contributed by Mari - Thank you!


Hopscotch variation
The chalk drawing we used was:

Sky Blue 9 7 8 6 4 5 3 2 1 "Sky Blue" was a huge circle that connected with square 9. Rules were the same except "sky blue" was also included. When you threw your rock on Sky Blue, you had to jump over it and land on one foot, turn around, jump over it again and land on square 9, still on one foot, then continue down the board.

Contributed by Julie & Kar - Thank you!


Australian Variation

I grew up in East Malvern a suburb of  Melbourne, Australia.

 
The rules of hopscotch as I remember them were;
 
The set up was 1,2 & 3 in a line, then 4 & 5 next to each other, then 6 on it's own and then 7 & 8 next to each other at the top.
 
To play, you throw/drop your stone on the next no (1, then 2, then 3, etc up to 8).  It's important that you throw accurately because if your stone lands on the wrong number, you miss a turn. 
 
Assuming your stone lands on the right number, you have to hop the sequence, on one foot, missing that square.  The only time you can put two feet down is on 4/5 and 7/8, and only if your stone isn't on one of them.
 
If you put your second foot down (other than on 4/5 or 7/8 when your stone isn't on them), you have to pick up your stone and try again next time.
 
At 7/8 you turn around and hop back, picking up your stone on the way, without putting your second foot down.
 
When through 8 successfully, you repeat at the top of the set, starting at 8 and working your way back down.
 
The first to do the lot, both up and back is the winner.
 
Then there was snail hopscotch.  Have you heard of this one?
 
You draw a big snail shell spiral and then section it off into squares.  You play the same way except there is no area for both feet.  Also, the number of squares are limited only to the size of the snail you have drawn.  Another difference is that you cannot start from the inside so it's just a race to the centre.

Just an adder to your rules. The "rest area" at the top of the hopping field (usually a 1/2 circle used to be called "SKY BLUE".

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