Hopscotch—that’s what the Romans did for us!

PUBLISHED: 19:07 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 05 October 2010



Carmen Valino

THE kids’ passtime of Hopscotch has been hailed as the greatest playground game of all time.’ The game dates back to Roman times, but is still popular 2,000 years on in playgrounds today, according to a national survey

By Else Kvist

THE kids’ passtime of Hopscotch has this week been hailed as the greatest playground game of all time.’

The game involving hopping between squares on a chalk grid dates back to Roman times.

It was used originally for military training when foot soldiers ran in full armour and field packs along hopscotch grids 100ft long to improve their footwork.

Roman children imitated the soldiers, drawing their own smaller grids on the ground.

The game is still popular 2,000 years on in playgrounds today, as in the primary school in London’s East End pictured above, according to a national survey.

A poll of 3,000 adults revealed Hopscotch in top place, Hide & Seek second, Skipping third and What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?’ fourth.

Fifth most popular game was British Bulldog, the traditional rough-and-tumble game banned by many schools for being “too rough.”

Nigel Crawford, from The Baby’ website which carried out the poll, said: “Playground games evoke strong memories for many adults—we can all remember chasing friends round the playground at break time.

“We have a genuine fondness as kids for games like Hopscotch and Mr Wolf, as we seal friendships and define who we hang out with.”


1 Hopscotch, 2 Hide and Seek, 3 Skipping, 4 What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?, 5 British Bulldog, 6 Conkers, 7 Kiss Chase, 8 Chinese Whispers, 9 Cats cradle, 10 Oranges and Lemons...

11 Football, 12 Blind Man’s Bluff, 13 Stick in the Mud, 14 Cops & Robbers, 15 Farmers in His Den, 16 It, 17 Elastics, 18 Please Mr Crocodile, 19 Jacks, 20 Duck, Duck, Goose.

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