Basic Hopscotch Rules

Hopscotch is an oldie but goodie. Learn to play its many variations and get hopping.
mother and son playing hopscotchhopscotch diagram

1. Draw a traditional hopscotch diagram like the one to the right below the photograph. (Chalk is best for asphalt and pavement outdoors. If you're playing inside, use masking or painter's tape.)

2. Throw a small stone, twig, beanbag, or other marker into the first square. (If it lands on a line, or outside the square, you lose your turn. Pass the marker to the following player and wait for your next turn.)

3. Hop on one foot into the first empty square, and then every subsequent empty square. Be sure to skip the one your marker is on.

4. At the pairs (4-5 and 7-8), jump with both feet.

5. At 10, hop with both feet, turn around, and head back toward the start.

6. When you reach the marked square again, pick up the marker -- still on one foot! -- and complete the course.

7. If you finished without any mistakes, pass the marker to the next player. On your next turn, throw the marker to the next number.

8. If you fall, jump outside the lines, or miss a square or the marker, you lose your turn and must repeat the same number on your next turn. Whoever reaches 10 first, wins.

Try one of these unique variations:

Watch The Time

Set the timer for 30 seconds. Each player must complete the course within the time frame to proceed. If you go into overtime, you lose your turn.

Sign On the Line

Instead of throwing the stone in numerical order, toss it in any square. When you complete a successful turn, initial the square where your marker landed and pass it to the next player. The game ends when all spaces have been initialed. The person with the most initialed squares wins.

Kick It

Try kicking the marker from space to space -- with your hopping foot -- as you jump through the course.

Copyright 2013 Meredith Corporation.

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