HOPSCOTCH

Hopscotch is an excellent beginner game for young children as it allows them to learn how to hop on one foot, gain their balance and recognize the order of elementary numbers. Aside from the traditional version, there are several variations. Hopscotch is a game about throwing, hopping, jumping and maintaining balance! Tips for drawing and rules here.

How Many Can Play:

  • 1 at a time
  • Unlimited taking turns

Rules:

  • Use a pebble/object as marker and throw into circle (leaf) 1
  • Player must jump over marked circle and hop on one foot through each numbered circle
  • Once they reach the end, turn around and hop back the numbered course
  • upon completing the course with your marker in circle 1, throw pebble/object into circle 2
  • Repeat previous step, but skip over square two, where marker is.
  • Continue skipping consecutive numbers until player reaches the end, until the player misses the appropriate square with the marker, or their foot touches a line, or they have lost their balance.
  • If any of above happens, the player loses their turn and it is the next players turn.

How to Win/Goal:

  • The first player to successfully hop all the way through the course (number 1-10) wins!

Teaching Hints:

  • Encourage the children to call out the number as they jump or hop on each leaf
  • Allow younger children to jump (both feet together) on each leaf instead of hopping (one foot)

Basic Rules:

  • Players take turns, standing in a line at the start/finish line.
  • Toss a stone in square one. Hop over the stone on the way out and pick it up on the way back.
  • If the player misses the toss, pass the stone to the next player in line and return to the back of the line.
  • Hop in the first empty hopscotch square. Balance on one foot in single squares and both feet in side-by-side squares.
  • If the player, does not maintain his/her balance or steps on a line, s/he returns to the waiting line.
  • On the way back to the start/finish line, pause at the square before the stone. Bend over and pick up the stone without moving feet.
  • Once the player’s turn is complete, s/he passes the stone to the next player in line and goes to the end of the line.
  • After each player successfully completes a turn with the stone in square one, their next turn s/he tosses the stone in square two and so on until the player has completed all ten squares.

Watch our Hopscotch tutorial videos.

MIRROR ME

Fun variation of Simon Says and memory games. The goal of the game is to mirror the person across from you by repeating the pattern of steps they take on the various colored circles. After each turn the pattern increases by one until the opposing player cannot mirror the pattern.

How Many Can Play:

  • 2 at a time

Rules:

  • Mirror the person across from you by repeating the pattern of steps they take on the various colored circles
  • Start with one step and increase the pattern by one step after each turn

How to Win/Goal:

  • Play until the opposing player misses a step
  • Until opposing player forgets the rest of the pattern

Teaching Hints:

  • Start off slow with one repeating pattern and add one new element at a time
  • Encourage the child to say/repeat the pattern verbally

Variation:

  • Create a “spinner” with the dot colors and play the familiar game of “twister”.

Watch our Mirror Me tutorial videos.

LEFT RIGHT OUT

Children must be able to hop from left to right with their right foot landing on the left side and their left foot landing on the right side of the game.

How Many Can Play:

  • 1 at a time

Rules:

  • A player must hop from left to right with their right foot landing on the left side and their left foot landing on the right side of the game.

How to Win/Goal:

  • Complete the game by landing on the opposing hopping foot from start to finish.

Watch our Left Right Out tutorial videos.

FOUR SQUARE

A basic layout of a simple large square divided into four smaller squares provides for a game that is endless in variation depending on the skills of the participants playing the game.

Indicated by the name of the game, this game involves four players, one for each square. The purpose of this game is to displace the player who plays from square 1 or the “King/Queen” position. This player who plays from square 1 is the one who begins the game by serving the ball from his or her own square. This player has the choice of serving the ball into any of the other 3 squares, choosing to allow it to bounce or not to bounce in any square before the opposing participant hits the ball into another of participants’ squares.

The nature of the game allows for many people to be able to play the game within a short period of time due to “misses” that may occur. “Misses” can occur when a player does not successfully hit the ball into one of their opponents’ squares, if they hit the ball out bounds, meaning out of the large square itself, or if they cause the ball to land on a line except on a serve. The person, who is responsible for the “miss”, must exit the game and retreat to the waiting line, allowing the next player to enter the game.

How Many Can Play:

  • 4 at one time; other players line up to wait for a turn

Rules:

  • Each player starts in 1 of the 4 squares.
  • Player in square 1 serves the ball by bouncing it in their square once and then hitting it towards one of the other squares.
  • The receiving player then hits the ball to any other player in another square
  • When a player fails to hit a ball out of their own square before the second bounce, hits the ball out of bounds (the large square itself), or the player causes the ball to land on a line (except during serves), this is considered a “miss” and they are “out”
  • When a player is “out”, they must exit the game and go to the back of the challenge line
  • The remaining players move up to take their place and a new player from the challenge line enters square 1

How to Win/Goal:

  • Try to eliminate whoever is in position 4 so that you become “King”

Teaching Hints:

  • Have the server say “ready?” before the serve and the other squares reply “serve”
  • Allow children multiple opportunities to practice to “drop and hit” the ball to each other
  • Remind the students to “drop” the ball before striking and hit the ball down (otherwise the ball will bounce over their head)
  • Fingers should point down with striking the ball below the waist
  • Fingers point up when the ball is above their waist
  • Younger children can catch the ball then “drop hit” to the next person

Watch our Four Square tutorial videos.

AGILITY LADDER

The agility ladder is an excellent beginner activity for young children as it allows them to learn how to stay within the line and to maintain their balance as they run, jump, skip or hop through the ladder. As their skills improve, they are able move through the ladder with greater ease and at a faster pace.To improve agility, sequencing, cardiorespiratory endurance and cooperation.

Ladder Activities:

  1. Run through with high knees-1 foot in each rung
  2. Run through with high knees-both feet in each rung
  3. Sideways run-both feet in each rung – (Defensive slide)
  4. Karaoke step (grapevine front and back)
  5. Skip with high knee action or low quick knee action
  6. Gallop with the same lead leg.
  7. One-foot hops, 2-foot jumps, forward and sideways.
  8. Ski Jumps- in, out to one side, in, out to the other side (2 feet and 1 foot)
  9. 10.Straddle Jumps – feet to either side, jump into the middle, out and up to the next rung, then back to the middle
  10. Straddle one side; jump up and sideways to straddle the side of the next room.

Teaching Hints:

  • Start off slow and under control
  • Initially allow them to look down to see where they are stepping use simple patterns
  • Allow adequate space between each student as they work through the ladder patterns
  • Push off from the balls of your feet
  • Keep your elbows at 90 degrees always
  • Keep your arms, shoulders and hands relaxed
  • Pump your hands from cheek to cheek
  • Try to keep you head still as much as possible

Watch our Agility Ladder tutorial videos.

ESCARGOT – Snail Hopscotch

How Many Can Play:

  • Unlimited taking turns

Rules:

  • First player hops (one foot) from box 1 through 10 on either their right or left foot (only) and then returns on their opposite foot
  • After successfully completing snail, the player writes their initials in a square of their choice
  • No one else can step into that square when they take their turn
  • Each time a player hops through the course, they must avoid a space with their opponents’ initials in them and only hop in squares with no initials.
  • In a space with a player’s own initials, they may jump into their space with two feet and rest
  • If a player steps on a line or jumps in a space that doesn’t have their initials in it, they lose a turn.

How to Win/Goal:

  • When there are no more spaces left to claim with initials, the person who has the most spaces claimed, wins!

Teaching Hints:

  • Remind the students to go slow
  • Use their arms to balance
  • Call out the numbers as they jump on them

Variation:

  • Younger children may jump (both feet together) through the pattern and focus on jumping in each square.

Watch our Escargot - Snail Hopscotch tutorial videos.

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