Hopscotch Variations & Other Skipping Games
By Amanda Formaro
Q: My kids love playing hopscotch, but what variations are there for the game? Also, what are some fun skipping games can I pass on?
A: While the [basic game of hopscotch][link to hopscotch story] is fun as is, you can definitely change the rules to fit the age of your kids. For example, to make things harder for older children, consider eliminating neutral zones. On the other hand, you can make it easier for younger kids by only keeping one player’s marker on the board at a time. Here are some other ways to switch things up:
Hopscotch is played in many countries with many different rules. In Italy, neutral zones are placed on the grid between number four and numbers five and six, and again after number seven. In Monte Carlo, diamond shapes make up the grid, while in France the pattern resembles a snail shell.
No matter what grid you use, there are many ways to play. Here are a few examples:
- After each player completes the first sequence successfully, each tosses their marker onto the grid. Whatever square their marker lands on becomes their neutral square. Each player then initials that square and can use it as a rest spot or neutral area during the rest of the game. If the marker lands on a square that is already claimed or lands on a line, the player must complete another sequence before trying the toss again.
- To make the game more challenging, change the grid so it has more single boxes.
- Play a round of category hopscotch. Choose a category for each player (wild animals, colors, boy’s names, countries, etc). Players hop on one foot throughout the grid. Each time they land on a square, they must call out an item from their category. For example, as Susie hops through the grid she calls out names from her category (wild animals), such as “lion, tiger, elephant, monkey”. Their turn ends if they miss a call or land on a line.
- Team hopscotch is for four or more players, and teams need a minimum of two players each. First everyone needs to agree on the number of turns each person gets before basic play starts. The finishing position of each team member is added together and the team with the highest number wins.