The game of hopscotch is a sidewalk and playground staple that has endured for centuries to become one of the most played court games in the world today. Equal parts precision throwing and physical prowess, what is an incredibly simple game on paper is actually a demanding test of stamina and skill. Perhaps it is due to its deceptive simplicity that hopscotch is still such a popular children’s game. In fact, its uniquely shaped court, which can actually vary depending on where it is played and the preferences of the players, is instantly recognized as such.
In some places, there are permanent hopscotch courts, practically etched into stone and concrete to provide a ready-to-play game or three for any group of children who are inclined to take advantage of it. Other times, children or their elders take a piece of chalk from the street and scribble a field on the sidewalk or on the playground. Often times, this approach produces uneven hopscotch courts that quickly deteriorate as excited boys and girls stomp on their lines. Since it’s not really worth anyone’s time to turn a sidewalk into a permanent court, there is an acceptable halfway alternative: painting the court on the pavement with a hopscotch stencil. Just as stencils in general make it easy to paint smooth, sharp, professional-looking lines, a hopscotch stencil ensures that the court you generate looks elegant enough for even adults to stop and consider playing.
Hopscotch template designs range from the standard schoolyard court to novelty styles that have alternating squares in a checkered pattern, or courts that are shaped like animals, such as fish. Whichever design you select is really a matter of personal preference. If you’re a purist, go for the traditional hopscotch arrangement. However, if you want to show off a bit of varied creativity, the hopscotch court that has an alligator pattern may be a more satisfying purchase. In all cases, make sure your template is made of decent quality plastic so that it provides you, your kids, and your playmates with an indefinite number of hours of fun through repeated use.
To paint a hopscotch template correctly, first choose a straight, flat stretch of sidewalk pavement, taking care to minimize any cracks or lines that could disturb the integrity of the court. Once you’ve found a suitable area, begin sweeping the area, cleaning it of dirt, rocks, and other debris. Otherwise, you will find yourself painting over dust and rocks. Next, spread out the hopscotch template and secure it to the pavement with tape or similar adhesive. Next, spray the pavement paint or brush it over the stencil, taking care to apply the paint coat evenly. Lastly, find something else to do for about an hour, like taking the kids out for ice cream or going to the corner store for some treats. When you return, the paint will have dried and your kids can literally jump right into action when you remove the stencil.
A good hopscotch template is a great way to bring fun and excitement to a boring sidewalk. It would be wise to have one on hand to encourage your children to seek out outdoor games.