Outdoor recreation plays a crucial role in maintaining both physical and emotional well-being in children. Active and energetic games like Hopscotch, tag, and skipping rope were among the favorite street games for generations.
Due to technology, many children have been isolated and reliant on screens for everything, from school to play. One of the best things you can do for your kids in these times is to give them a safe opportunity to be out in the sun and allow them to make some great childhood memories.
Hopscotch is a legendary playground game that has given birth to dozens of other fun games. Some popular alternatives to Hopscotch include Skelzie, Boxball, Hit the Penny, Four Square, and Twister. These are all pavement games that can be played outside with little or no equipment.
You see, when you’re outdoors, you don’t need much to have fun. If you have some chalk and the weather is warm and inviting – you are all set to play these great outdoor games. Are you ready to learn about all the great alternatives to Hopscotch you can play? Read on.
These are 15 alternative games to Hopscotch:
Skelzie is a timeless game like Hopscotch, one of the most popular games in New York City and urban America from the 1950s through the 1980s. To play Skelzie, you need to create a large square, approximately 6 feet wide, on a flat surface.
Next, you will draw a total of 12 squares (6 inches wide each) on each corner, and along the edges of the large board you just drew. A thirteenth square goes on the middle of the large board, surrounded by a penalty area, where players cannot shoot their caps into. To give your bottle caps some weight, fill them with clay or wax.
Getting down on hands and knees, the player will place the cap on the ground and flick it to square #1 with their thumb and middle finger. If you get it into #1 successfully, you can flick it to #2, and then to #3, and so on. However, if you miss once, the next player goes and tries the same sequence. The game continues until someone reaches square #13!
Boxball is one of the easiest sidewalk games that are similar to Hopscotch. To play this game, you need to find two spacious and adjoining sidewalk squares. If you are playing in a playground, you can make a court by drawing two adjacents squares, each 8 feet wide. Each player will stand on one side and slap the ball back and forth with their open palm.
Players need to slap the ball on the fly or the first bounce. If you step off your court, fail to return a shot, or if your shot bounces off your opponent’s court, you lose. The first one to get 21 points is the winner!
3. Hit the Penny
To play Hit the Penny, you can draw a court just like the one in Boxball or use sidewalk squares. First, put a penny in the middle of the dividing line. Then, standing at either end of the court, players take turns throwing a ball at the penny. Each hit on the penny is worth one point, while flipping the penny is worth 3 points. The player who reaches 15 points first is the winner.
4. Four square
Four square requires at least four people but can be played with many more. All you need is a ball and a grid with four squares, which you can easily make with chalk. Make sure that the squares are at least about 2 feet each and number them one to four.
Each person will take turns bouncing the ball to another player’s box, making sure not to touch any lines. You can hit the ball to any square; the important part is not to let the ball bounce on any lines. The play continues until someone misses the ball, catches it, allows it to bounce more than once, touches the lines, or misses the square.
If there are more than four players, another takes the eliminated player’s place!
5. Dots and Boxes
You might have played Dots and Boxes indoors with pen and paper, but it’s much more enjoyable with some chalk on the sidewalk. Begin by making an empty grid of dots – you can make however many dots you want. Then, two players will take turns to draw one horizontal or vertical to connect two dots.
The person who draws the fourth wall of a box will own the box, marking the box with his initials. The player who ends up owning the most boxes is the winner.
Of course, we can play playground Tic-tac-toe! It’s much more fun when you’re outside.
The first way to playground Tic-tac-toe is to use a rock or bean bag to toss into the Tic-tac-toe board. You can draw your X or your O wherever it lands. The first person to get three in a row wins.
The next way you can play is the race game. Divide the players into two teams and have them line up. The first person will run up to the board, mark a spot, run back, and pass the chalk to the next player. The team to get the first three in a row wins.
7. Chalk Bullseye
To play Chalk Bullseye, make a series of concentric circles. Use different colors of chalk and mark each ring with point values. For a marker, get a beanbag, wet sponges, or some water balloons. The goal is to get the marker into the bullseye or as close as you can. The person with the most points is the winner.
Kids can even practice some math while playing this game! If you are up for more fun, you can even use some pennies and nickles as markers. The person who throws it into the target gets to keep the money!
8. Sidewalk Twister
There probably aren’t any kids who won’t like this crazy game. To play Sidewalk Twister, get together with your kids and draw basic shapes on the ground with different colored chalks. Then, call out instructions on where you want the player to put their right hands, right feet, left hands, and left feet.
For instance, ask them to place the right hand on the blue square, left hand on the red circle, left foot on the yellow triangle, and right foot on another blue square. Players should maintain their balance as you keep on calling our instructions. This fun game will have your kids twisting and having immense fun.
The game Corners requires at least three or more players. Start by drawing a large square court and draw smaller squares on each corner, numbering them from 1 to 4. Then, draw a circle in the middle of the court. Have one player stand in the middle of the circle and count to ten with their eyes closed.
While the person is counting, the rest of the players run around to pick a corner to stand on. Several players can stand in one corner. When the player in the circle is finished counting, they need to choose a number from 1 to 4 with his eyes still closed. Whichever player is in that corner loses. Continue playing until there is only one player left.
10. Long Jump
Long Jump is an athletic game for people of all ages. Take a measuring tape and mark off lines so that they are each one foot apart. Then, have kids stand on the first line and see how many feet they can jump. Or, you can have them sprint down a runway and jump from a take-off area. The goal is to jump as far as you can!
11. Alphabet Hop
Alphabet hop is a game that is not only fun but also educational. To set up the game, draw 26 circles or squares on the ground and write the alphabet letters in each. If your child is learning the alphabet, call out letters and have them hop from one to another. For older children, they called out words to spell by hopping from one letter to another.
12. Chalk Maze
Get together with the kids and design a maze with squiggly lines and shapes. Have players work their way through this maze by hopping on one foot, jumping, or even on a scooter or bike. The more intricate you can make your maze, the more challenging it will be.
Make your own version of Shuffleboard by drawing goals for each side with chalk. Then, players can sit on either side and roll a marble. If the marble rolls through the goal, you get one point. If your marble stops in the goal, you get five points! A flat and leveled sidewalk works best for this game.
Checkers is an ancient game going back as far as 1400 BC that can be played with chalk and pebbles on your sidewalk. Make a checkerboard with chalk on the ground. Find small stones and mark half of them with chalk. Keep another colored chalk to mark kings!
15. Avoid the Shark
Avoid the Shark is another fun activity that will keep your kids hopping. First, draw some beaches on the ground with chalk. Then, with blue chalk, draw water and make shark fins between the beaches. Players need to hop from one beach to another to avoid getting bit by the sharks!
A childhood without outdoor play is incomplete. Now that you know the 15 alternatives to Hopscotch, you will always be prepared to teach kids a new and exciting outdoor game any day.