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 them 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 their 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 they pick up the rock or pebble you’ll be using to toss onto the squares, they are actually working on their fine motor control while grasping the object with their finger muscles. They might be a little young to be jumping into a full-fledged hopscotch game, but you can start by encouraging them to try hopping to the square, which will promote their ability to jump, as well as give them 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.