Children’s Week in Australia is always in October. This year, it will run from 24 October to 1 November. The theme for 2020 is based on Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which celebrates the right of all children ‘to choose their own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others’. In this year of COVID-19, Article 15 has also been interpreted as ‘Children have the right to choose their own friends and safely connect with others’.

At various times, COVID-19 has affected the way we can play, with children’s regular gathering-places like schools, kindergartens, playgroups, clubs and associations closed, play equipment in our local parks taped off and even play-dates with friends banned. The restrictions also mean that many Children’s Week events and activities will now be delivered online.

Hop To It! Street Games for Children’s Week invites you to take part in a community activity that celebrates children through their play, and at the same time adds colour to your local street, as a sign that the spirit of play is alive and well in this very challenging year! It’s free to join in, and you can play for as long as you like. All you have to do is draw a hopscotch on your footpath and play.

When you draw a Hopscotch design on the footpath, a shared space, it instantly becomes a community activity that belongs to everyone, so anyone can play until rain washes the chalk away. It’s a simple, familiar game, but the best news is that it’s a safe game to play during the pandemic. Only one player at a time, with everyone else standing back. That makes it ideal for a playful Children’s Week activity for families to share.

So you’re invited to Hop To It! and join in during Children’s Week 2020!

Here’s what you’ll need:
• Coloured chalk (large sticks of pavement chalk are best for drawing on footpaths)
• A playing piece (‘taw’) for each person to keep for themselves. (Something to throw into the numbered squares, like a flat stone, stick, piece of tanbark, broken tile or wood, small bean bag.)
• Hopscotch game sheets (available on this website) or remember how you played it at school

Here’s what to do:
1. Draw colourful Hopscotch designs and patterns on your footpath with chalk. (Some ideas are on this website or make up your own.)
2. Play Hopscotch with your family (and your friends and neighbours, depending on COVID-19 restrictions).
3. Take a photo of your Hopscotch design / your family playing the game.
4. Upload your jpg photos to the Hop To It! Street Games Facebook page or send as an attachment to hoptoit1020@gmail.com.
5. Look for your photos on this website during Children’s Week.

Visit the Hop To It! Street Games Facebook page for updates and news, or
Contact us at hoptoit1020@gmail.com

Hop To It! Street Games for Children’s Week is a community activity planned by Judy McKinty, Children’s Play Researcher, Folklorist and Play Australia Life Member. It will run for one week, from 24 October to 1 November, 2020. (But you can keep playing Hopscotch as often as you like.)

Play Australia member

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