Traditional children’s games like hopscotch may seem like they are all about having fun, but they also play an important role in child development. Jumping rope, hopscotch, skipping, playing elastics – all these classic kid activities hinge on a single accomplishment: hopping on one foot.
Most children will reach this milestone between the age of 3 – 5 years, about the time they are ready to start pre-school or prep.
Play is vital to the development of children’s fine and gross motor skills. It is through play that children are able to practice and perfect control and coordination of their body movements.
Here are 5 great reasons why hopscotch is a perfect game for a young child:
- Hopping – Hopscotch is all about hopping on one leg. Hopping on one foot is quite a complex movement, requiring the ability to balance on one leg and then generate enough force in the stance leg to hop, clear the ground and land (inside a defined space) without falling.
- Leaping – Once kids have mastered hopping, leaping comes next. Leaping is a big part of hopscotch and as the game progresses, kids will sometimes be required to leap over 2 or more spaces at a time. Single-footed leaps require a lot of strength, balance and coordination.
- Single leg balance – Balance is one of the essential building blocks to all physical movement. The game of hopscotch challenges children to hop on one leg, then to stop, bend and pick up a pebble, straighten, leap, land, jump and turn and then repeat all over again. Hopscotch is perfectly designed to challenge a child’s sense of balance and proprioception.
- Movement control and spatial awareness – The rules of hopscotch demand that the player’s don’t step on the lines, making the kids hop, jump and stop with deliberate control.
- Taking turns and rules – The game of hopscotch employs simple, repetitive rules that make it easy for the young child to learn and play and to also stay engaged in the game when it is not their turn. Playing games, taking turns, following the rules of the game and having fun with friends, helps children develop important social skills.
Hopscotch is a fun game with hidden benefits that all of the family can play and enjoy together, so grab your chalk and start hopping!
If you need further advice please arrange a consultation with one of our Paediatric Podiatrists. | Foot Health Clinic is located in Samford, North Brisbane | Call 07 3289 6050 for information or consultations