Maybe you never played hopscotch when you were a kid, but your parents might have, or even your grandparents! Hopscotch is a classic for a reason – it gets kids up and moving around.
For toddlers, this outdoor game is not only a way to burn off some energy, but also to learn through play, and it’s quick and easy to get set up. Grab some chalk and outline the hopscotch pattern – if Baby isn’t much of a counter yet, you can identify the shapes and numbers for him as you create the playing space.
If you’re not familiar with the rules, hopscotch is played when the player throws a rock, stick, or other marker onto the board, and then hops through the squares. The player has to hop over the square that the marker is in, and to pick the marker back up again on his way back. Since you’ll be drawing your hopscotch board, you can set up the squares so they’re small enough that Baby doesn’t have trouble hopping over them.
As he picks up the rock or pebble you’ll be using to toss onto the squares, he is actually working on his fine motor control while grasping the object with his finger muscles. He might be a little young to be jumping into a full-fledged hopscotch game, but you can start by encouraging him to try hopping to the square, which will promote his ability to jump, as well as give him the chance to work on coordination and balance.
You can also grab some friends to make this activity more social. Playing with others will help Baby learn to take turns, and to practice spatial awareness.