Variations on hopscotch.

A traditional hopscotch game has the numbers from 1 to 10.

Hopscotch is a great outside game.  You simply draw the hopscotch “board” on the ground with chalk, gather a stone per person and start playing.

There are multiple variations on hopscotch. The one we have been playing starts by throwing the stone on number 1, then you have to jump over the square with the stone, all the way to number 10. The next turn you throw the stone onto number 2, as so on. The first person to reach number 10 – going in order from 1 to 10 – wins.

In our house you also have to say the numbers as you jump on them. This is to help reinforce the ideas of counting and number order.

There are a few things hopscotch does besides help teaching numbers. First, it helps with hand-eye coordination and eye-foot coordination. You have to throw a stone where your eye is looking (hand-eye) and jump over and onto things (eye-foot). For preschoolers who are learning these skills, this is a new and different way of practicing them. Second, it gets kids outside and active. That means it will, hopefully, tire them out. Of course, after the 50th game of hopscotch in a row while holding a baby, you might be tired too.

There are several variations on this game.

Variation number 1: Alphabet

Instead of using numbers, you use a section of the alphabet (A-J, or something similar). Then you have to go in order of the alphabet and say the letters instead of the numbers.

Variation number 2: Mix-it-up

Instead of putting the numbers/letters in order on the board, mix them up. But still require the throwing to be done in order. This will really test whether your child has learned the proper order of numbers and letters because they have to work at finding the right one that comes next, rather than them being all in a row.

Variation number 3: Spelling

This works well for older children. Pick a bunch of rhyming words (like cat, hat, bat, sat, mat…) and put the letter needed to make those words onto the board. Then have them make words. Create a checklist, either on paper or on the ground, and have each player make the words in order by throwing the rock onto the proper letter.

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  1. Hi there, I am a frequent reader of this blog although I don’t comment often. I linked this post to one of mine at


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