Hopscotch has been played in Britain for at least the last 350 years. It appeared in Francis Willughby’s collection of games, compiled in the 1660’s and is still commonly seen in playgrounds across the country including in Nottingham although its popularity is declining. 

Over the years there have been many different hopscotch ‘grids’. The common pattern today is an ‘aeroplane’ shape but there have been many variations starting with simple ‘ladders’ and including spirals or letter shapes. The research of Iona Opie suggests the modern design seen today developed from the introduction of paving stones on British streets. 

Playing Hopscotch 

You will need:  

A flat playing surface – pavement or playground is ideal! 

Chalk or stone for drawing the grid. 

Stone for each player to count out the hops. 

How to play 

Draw a grid of 10 numbered squares on the ground. 

Throw a stone into the first square (no.1) to begin the game. 

Skipping the square with the stone, hop from one square to the next right up to the end of the court (no.10). Then turn back, collecting the pebble before you finish. Then it’s the next player’s turn.  

If a player manages to throw their stone into the correct square, and finishes their lap without any mistakes, they can start with the next numbered square (no.2) on their next go. If they make a mistake they’ll have to try to throw the stone into the same square again and complete this before moving to the next number 

The first player to reach 10 wins the game! 

There are, of course, many variations…you can change the hopscotch court to suit the ages, stages and numbers of those involved. 

During the recent lockdown we spotted a hand drawn hopscotch with over 100 squares! 

 When two squares sit side by side, you can jump on them with both feet, with your left leg in the first square (e.g. no.2) and your right in the next (e.g. no.3)