Pretty Dandy

Homemade Hopscotch DIY

A homemade hopscotch grid like this is a great feature for a family garden and will look better and better as the years pass. Here are some instructions for a homemade hopscotch DIY.
Garden Hopscotch
I love this idea for a home made hopscotch game. It is a neat way to introduce some fun into the garden and I know that kids and grown-ups alike won’t be able to resist having a go!

If you have an area of dead space, a place where a fun pathway could be handy or an awkward corner to fill, then this is just the ticket.  It is relatively straightforward to create.  All you need is 9 paving stones (the image above shows 10, but it was always 9 when I was a kid), square in shape and sized 12” or larger. We used to lay them out like so:
Hopscotch Grid

Look for paving which is fairly smooth – less chance of slips & trips. When you’ve chosen your paving slabs you need to add a number to each one.

My advice is to number the paving stones before laying them – you can take your time and make sure the numbers are central and straight, without having to get down on your hands and knees! There are free number stencils available online to download and make at home, or you can purchase ready made stencils if you prefer. Use a good quality outdoor floor paint which will stand a bit of wear and tear, or a spray paint will also work well.

A good stencilling tip is to fix the stencil securely in place with masking tape, apply your paint carefully from the outside in to the middle, so as not to get paint under the edges. Leave the stencil fixed in place until the paint is completely dry. That way you can ensure a nice crisp finish.

When you’ve got your numbered squares then you’re ready to start laying! Lay out your grid in the shape you prefer and then lay the paving stones as you would a normal patio/terrace. It’s important to make sure they are firmly fixed in place as there will be a lot of hopping & jumping going on and they need to be very secure.  If, like me, you’ve never laid a patio then consider giving the professionals a ring… or at the very least a handy friend!

Now, this tip may seem obvious, but I’m going to include it anyway. Make sure the stones are laid in the correct number order, it would be easy to make a mistake with this if you were concentrating on laying them securely... and SO frustrating!

When the slabs are laid and have had plenty of time to dry, fill in around the edges with little pebbles and hardy, low-growing plants that can withstand a bit of hopscotch fun. These will eventually grow to fill in the gaps around the slabs. You could also use grass, but something harder-wearing might be better. Tip - ask your local garden centre for advice if you’re not sure which plants will work – ground cover like hardy thymes and various sedums are a good place to start.

Now you’re ready for a hop, skip & jump!

Tips & Ideas:
  • Use scented plants to fill in the gaps and every jump will smell delicious!
  • Get creative with the numbers – you could use different fonts for the stencils, paint them in lots of colours or use shades of one colour to create an ombre effect
  • Involve your kids in painting the numbers free hand for a sweet memento
  • When picking plants, be aware that some may attract bees – good for the garden, but less so for bare, hopping feet
  • If you’re feeling particularly creative you could make mosaic squares instead of paving stones
Or, if you don’t have a garden space you can change, just get creative with the chalks and create something less permanent instead!

I think this would make a super sweet feature for a family garden. What do you think? Would you give this a go in your patch?

Date: 26 May 2013 17:03
Author: Becky
Tags: gardening