Historic Folk Toys: Game, 'Hopscotch (with Cloth Bag)'

Historic Folk Toys: Game, 'Hopscotch (with Cloth Bag)'

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Hopscotch (with Cloth Bag)
Our Hopscotch (with cloth bag) game set includes jumbo sidewalk chalk; five glass "pucks;" instructions for five fun, traditional hopscotch games; and a brief history.

Historical Background: According to most sources, hopscotch was developed centuries ago in Great Britain during the Roman occupation. Because the original hopscotch courts were used for military training, they were over 100 feet long! These long courts represented the long 400-mile journey on the Great North Road connecting London, England, to Glasgow, Scotland. Roman soldiers used this road frequently, so a military exercise was developed to condition them for it. Roman soldiers tested their strength on these hopscotch courts by carrying heavy loads or wearing full armor. Today, football players go through similar conditioning drills by running through rows of truck tires in full gear.

It is reported that Roman children made their own smaller courts to imitate the soldiers. The children developed a scoring system for their games, and hopscotch was born and spread throughout Europe. The word "hop scotch" literally came from hopping the long road to Glasgow, Scotland. Various cultures have developed their own games with different courts and rules. Other words for hopscotch are: "marelles" (France), "templehupfen" (Germany), "hinkelbaan" (The Netherlands), "ekaria dukaria" (India), "pico" (Vietnam), and "rayuela" (Argentina).

Most hopscotch games are played with a "puck" or "potsey." The puck can be a stone, rock, a piece of flat glass, crockery, or just about anything that can be thrown onto the courts. The courts can be drawn with chalk on a concrete surface or with a stick on a bare spot of level ground. Generally, hopscotch games are played by tossing the puck into a drawn section and hopping in a specific way through the court and back. There are rules against stepping on a line, missing a square, or losing your balance and touching the court with a hand. The first person to complete the course is the winner.

Today, we think of Hopscotch as a children's game, particularly for girls. The game of Hopscotch is featured in "The Boy's Own Book" by William Clark, first published in 1829. This book was considered "A popular encyclopedia of the sports and pastimes of youth." Interestingly, the game of hopscotch is not featured in "The Girl's Own Book" by L. Maria Child, published in 1834. Hopscotch was considered a boy's game, as depicted by five boys playing the game in the illustration "Scotch Hoppers" from "Juvenile Games for the Four Seasons."

PACKAGE DIMENSIONS - 4.5 x 7.5 x 1.75"