8 junio, 2024

African hopscotch: what it is, how to play it, rules, objective, song

What is African hopscotch?

The african hopscotch It is a children’s game where coordination is greatly developed, while those who participate have fun. This activity has become popular all over the world and over time it has been a playful practice carried out by many.

Everything seems to indicate that this playful activity arises from a game that was played in ancient Rome, called the «game of Wineskins» or even from ancient Greece, where it was known as the «game of Ascolias».

Since that time, there are some records of children playing and it can be said that African hopscotch was born from there.

The game of African hopscotch is also characterized by an accompanying song called “Minue, minue, le gusta la dance”. In this way, children, as they play, follow the rhythm of the activity almost like a dance, which further helps to develop coordination and motor skills.

Unlike many other children’s games, African hopscotch has no winners or losers, and is not characterized by being competitive. On the contrary, it is a fun activity where the participants are distracted and play accompanied by music.

How to play African hopscotch

In order to better understand this type of hopscotch and differentiate it from other similar games, we will explain how to play it. Thus, said activity will be clearer for those who want to put it into practice.

Hopscotch primarily requires a flat surface on which a four by four grid is drawn or painted. Each of these boxes must have a measurement of between 40 and 50 square centimeters.

Once the grid is created, each participant must stand at the starting point of said figure. Subsequently, he must jump over each square trying not to step on the lines of these, until finishing the entire route, that is, go from jump to jump over the squares from the starting point to the end.

The whole tour is accompanied by the song «Minue, minue, he likes the dance», which makes each player carry a rhythm every time they jump or move around the grid. In this way, not only does the game become more fun, but body coordination is worked on much more.

African Hopscotch Rules

Understanding the basic way in which this type of hopscotch is played, it is important to highlight its main rules. These are not difficult to understand, but they must be taken into account so that the game is fun and even.

The grid painted on the flat surface must be four by four, with each square having the same measurements.
There is no limit of players and they can be of any age.
Each player has a turn and as they move around the grid, jumping from square to square, they can continue playing without changing turns until they complete the journey, or new participants can enter to the rhythm of the music.
As the players jump from square to square, the song «Minue, minue, he likes to dance» is played. This can be reproduced by some sound equipment or sung by the other participants.
As mentioned before, there are no winners or losers. It’s just played for fun.

African Hopscotch Target

As it is not a competitive game nor does it pretend to have winners or losers, its main objective is to amuse its participants. In other words, it is a playful activity in which each player seeks to amuse themselves by jumping on the grid to the rhythm of the music almost like a dance or choreography.

In fact, in many countries, especially in Africa, this type of hopscotch is used for choreography demonstrations, where people can enjoy the movements to the rhythm of the song «Minue, minue, he likes the dance.»

In other words, African hopscotch, more than a game where there is a winner, is a practice that seeks to involve its participants in a friendly and creative way so that they can recreate themselves to the rhythm of the music.

It is also important to say that this game is intended to develop the motor skills, coordination and physical resistance of those who play it. Although it is not a competition, it is an activity in which the participants must organize their movements with rhythm and continuous movement.

African Hopscotch Song

One of the most important elements in this game is the theme or song «Minue, minue, he likes the dance.» As already mentioned, this is the African hopscotch accompaniment for each turn or round.

It can be said that this song is typical and unique to African hopscotch and is its main differentiator from other games of this type. Thanks to this tune, this activity has become popular worldwide and throughout history.

However, it is important to say that the song «Minue, minue, he likes to dance» was not in the game from the beginning. It began to be used long after the game of hopscotch as such was practiced.

According to some historical studies, the song «Minue, minue, le gusta la danza» comes from the baroque dance «minué», which emerged in France during the 17th century. This dance quickly became popular throughout Europe and then spread to different parts of the world.

Thanks to this popularity that the minuet acquired, it is then believed that the song «Minue, minuet, he likes the dance» was introduced into the African hopscotch, keeping some differences. In other words, it was modified to meet playful purposes rather than dance.

Thus, it can be said that the tune «Minue, minue, he likes the dance» is a key element in African hopscotch, since thanks to it, the game gains a different focus from other hopscotch.

In other words, thanks to this song, this practice becomes a combination of dance and game, while the more traditional hopscotch is limited to just the game itself.


PHYSICAL EDUCATION (2020). Retrieved from gobiernodecanarias.org
Skills that are stimulated in children when playing hopscotch (2019). Obtained from educapeques.com
Hopscotch game. How to play with children (2018). Obtained from conmishijos.com
Hopscotch, a game of aim, balance and fun (2014). Retrieved from faros.hsjdbcn.org
AFRICAN HOSCOPE (2020). Retrieved from ubaque-cundinamarca.gov.co

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