By: the editors of Wondertime magazine
We know children in ancient Rome played Hopscotch — or at least something like it (history did not record whether they also had jungle gyms). Perhaps that's how Romans became such nimble-footed gladiators. To hone your own fancy footwork, all you need is some chalk, rocks, and a sidewalk.
• 2 or more players
• A sidewalk or patio
How to play:
1. Draw a diagram with numbered boxes about 18 inches wide and one- foot deep.
2. A player tosses a rock into the first box. (If the rock doesn't land completely within the box, she picks up the rock, and her turn is forfeited.)
3. Without putting a foot down in the rock-occupied space, she hops to the end of the grid, putting one foot in each box. (She'll have both feet down in adjacent spaces.) Throughout the game, if she falls or puts a foot down when she's not supposed to, she forfeits her turn, leaves the rock, and tries again in the next round. If she safely reaches Home, she can rest on both feet for a few seconds.
4. She then turns around and hops back. She must stop in the box before the rock-occupied space and pick up the rock; once the rock is retrieved, she can hop into that box. If she makes it back to the beginning safely, it's the next player's turn.
5. Players take turns throwing rocks and retrieving them (avoiding all rock-occupied spaces). The first player to make it through all the boxes (including Home) wins.
Originally published in Wondertime magazine.