The smooth, rubbery surface of the basketball court near our house attracts many young chalk artists, and there are usually a few creative hopscotch patterns scattered around. When I see a kid in the process of drawing, I ask if she actually plays hopscotch. "No," is the common answer. "I just like making them." Sometimes I see children jumping along through the squares, but never using a stone or bottle cap marker.
I recall playing hopscotch as a kid. An important part was finding just the right marker—flat, not too heavy, not too light—and every player's had to look different.
Folklorists and anthropologists saved sketches and observations of traditional hopscotch games. It's fun to bring them back to life. Kids are excited to be playing games other kids invented long ago and far away. A group of two, three or four players is best.
This PDF file is free to download. It includes ten different hopscotch games. Feel free to share it informally—pass it along!
I am an author and folklorist based in Portland, Oregon.
The Great Dictionary Caper, illustrated by Eric Comstock (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster, 2018)
**Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.
Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004). New York Times Bestseller, ALA Notable Book, and winner of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award.
Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss Wrote 'The Cat in the Hat"
(Random House, 2017). Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
*Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Kirkus.