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Hopscotch, a Family Game of Fun and Fitness

The 300-hundred-year-old game hopscotch—an English name, which according to, means to hop over the “scotch”—a line or scratch, is drawn on the ground in diverse patterns—with numbered spaces that must be maneuvered in numerical order.

From a physiological perspective, the hoping—single and double leg—represents a form of training called plyometrics, which improves fast muscle contractions, activates the stretch reflex, and balance in the lower extremity.

There a quite a few variations of the game, which include, a player tossing a small, flat marker, like a beanbag, into the first numbered space. The player loses a turn, if the marker doesn’t land in the correct space or touches a line. The player then hops on one foot to the second square—followed by the succeeding squares, without touching a line, falling, or dropping the trailing foot. 

A second variation involves the player jumping with both feet, which may be designated as rest spaces. Upon reaching the last numbered square, the player turns and moves through the spaces as before, lifts the marker, and hops out of the diagram.

Completing the layout without mistakes allows the player to continue—tossing the marker into the second square, hopping into the first space then over the second and into the third, and so on, until the whole diagram has been played in this manner.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.