How to Teach Through Play ~ get out there and have a game of Hop Scotch!

How to teach through play ~ get out there and have a game of Hop-Scotch, just like Roman soldiers did…

Every TOY or GAME has a STORY.

Today, the Game of Hop Scotch will tell its story…



WHAT is Hop Scotch:  Hop Scotch is a hopping game with a fairly simple rule – Marker, Single square, Single foot.

WHO invented Hop Scotch:  There are a couple of theories regarding the invention of the Game of Hop Scotch, and these theories go back hundreds of years.

The Romans take credit for a game much like modern Hop Scotch where soldiers, in full armour, would hop along endurance courses (take note, endurance athletes!) for intense military and footwork training.  Some of these courses were *100 feet or more in length.

Then there’s the theory that the Chinese invented a game also much like modern Hop Scotch.  This game involved a course of boxes drawn in the sand, representing a journey to heaven.

WHEN was Hop Scotch invented:  The first written reference to the game of Hop Scotch dates back to the late 17th century in an English almanac known as Poor Robin’s Almanack.  The entry refers to Scotch-hoppers.

WHERE was Hop Scotch invented:  Maybe Rome.  Maybe China.  Maybe Great Britain.  It’s your choice of theory!

WHY was Hop Scotch invented:  It appears that Hop Scotch was invented as an endurance game, sport or training.  Over the centuries, the game has been called Scotch-hoppers, Hop Score, Scotch Hobbies, and in the Czech language, Hop Skoc, meaning Hop Jump.

Today, the game of Hop Scotch is widely considered a girls game, but there are variations of Hop Scotch where boys test their endurance by carrying someone on their backs while playing the game. Wow.

HOW is Hop Scotch played:  The game of Hop Scotch can be played anywhere a course can be designed – dirt, sand, cement, asphalt, etc., and there are Hop Scotch mats for indoor use, as well.

There are multiple variations of the game and multiple ways to design a Hop Scotch course – chalk, tape, the edges of stones or bricks, etc.  Each player has a “marker” (stone, seashell, small beanbag, etc.).  Each player tosses his marker (must land inside lines of designated square) and begins to hop along the course until he steps on a line, the marker is tossed into the wrong box on the course, or there is a loss of balance 2-foot landing.

Get out there and play a fun and challenging Game of Hop Scotch with your kids and grandkids!  Hey, can you go the extra endurance step and play with a child on your back!?


*100 feet may sound like next to nothing compared to the World Record Longest Hop Scotch Course, measuring 3.75 miles – set on September 24, 2012 in Detroit, MI. The organizers, Wedge Detroit and Imagine Detroit Together, wanted to showcase art and creativity, fostering a new kind of thinking about the old Motor City. Simple stated, “It’s on the streets and people can play. It’s intuitive for people to hop and reminds people to have fun.”

How long can YOU make YOUR Hop Scotch Course!?



How to Teach Through Play ~ get out there and have a game of Hop Scotch! was last modified: July 31st, 2014 by Sharon Couto
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How to Teach Through Play ~ get out there and have a game of Hop Scotch! was last modified: July 31st, 2014 by Sharon Couto