Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hopscotch--It’s just a Game…or is it?

Last summer I read an article called ‘Why Hopscotch Matters’ posted on, which I linked to from @movingsmart. This post did a fantastic job of breaking down why playing hopscotch is good for children. What first caught my attention was how this game helps midline development. In other words by hopping on one foot a child develops more concrete connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which in turn have a positive impact on learning, creativity, and social development. The rest of the article convinced me that this ‘game’ should be brought back to our school.
Last weekend, my husband and I painted two hopscotch courts on the playground for the students to use during recess and this week students are learning how to play hopscotch.  I wasn’t sure how well this ‘new’ game would be received especially by the boys, but so far everyone has been captivated.
As I supervise students practicing the hops and jumps, and watch the personal interactions between students, it’s as if I am watching the “wheels” turn as they preplan motor movements for themselves and anticipate what the other students are doing while completing the course.  One student reached the number 5 and the other children who were waiting their turn began clapping and congratulating that student for doing well. High fives all around!
The looks of concentration and even frustration turned to smiles of accomplishment and confidence as each student began to master the different skills necessary to be successful.