I recently received a video from George Karis, the exceptional talented building project manager for our Molo play area. It was of 2 children playing hopscotch.
I regularly played hopscotch when I was younger and as a budding play designer, had assessed the key benefits of hopscotch to be balance and counting. This conclusion may have been correct for the hopscotch designs I grew up with in south east London in the 80/90s but not the Molo Hopscotch. This hopscotch design lacked formality, lacked uniform squares, lacked numbers!. However, in exchange for all its ‘lacks’ was a whole new expression creativity and adventure. The children jumped around the seemingly random and irregular shapes marked on the ground, balancing on one leg and throwing a stone. With a common goal to get from one end of the raised platform and back. What I had wrongly deemed to be incorrect and in the need of a drastic change. The children had rightly afforded to be fun, to provide balance control, challenge and competition.
As we design to meet the needs of the local children it is vital we do not impose our culture and ways of playing on to them. If we do, we are very likely to miss out on ingenuity and an appreciation of what play means to them. As well as opportunities for children to develop developmental skills such as their motor skills (this is an added bonus to them enjoying themselves through play)
Please find a link about the history of the hopscotch below;
Turns out my way of playing hopscotch (without any form of stone or throwing), goes against all the rules of Hopscotch. Nevertheless, it was and will still one of my favorite playground activities.