Get kids moving—and practicing basic number skills—with a game of calculator hopscotch

Calculator Hopscotch
Credit: Brent Hale

We all know that exercise is good for kids' health, but according to a growing body of evidence, it can also improve their academic performance. Schools are experimenting with incorporating movement into classroom lessons, so why not try a little active learning at home? This brainy variation on a blacktop fave will help your kids get a jump on arithmetic—and it's a blast!

Calculator diagram

Set It Up

Using sidewalk chalk, draw the board shown to the right, with boxes about 1 foot square (skip the multiplication and division signs for younger kids). Jumping can be done with one foot (trickier) or two feet.

3 Ways to Play

Solve It: The first player jumps from square to square to indicate an equation; for example, she might jump onto these in order: 4 + 3 = . The next player jumps to the answer, then jumps a different equation. The player after her solves that, and so on.

Time Challenge: On her turn, a player tosses a stone onto a number. She then sees how many equations equaling that number she can jump in 60 seconds.

Co-op Calculations: One player tosses a stone on a number, then, taking turns, the others in the group try to jump as many different equations as possible equaling that number.

The Skills It Builds: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division

Family Fun