When it comes to games for children, the classics are unbeatable. Playing a simple game like Leapfrog with friends is one of the best ways for our children to build their strength and confidence. Our list of favourites is all about rediscovering those classic games kids love playing, but which have declined in popularity as more modern kids’ activities have taken over.
The International Games series of blog posts celebrates the best classic games from around the world.
We hope showing you and your children how to play Leapfrog and other games like it will teach them about some of the entertaining games played in other countries and inspire you to try them at home with your little one. Learning how to play Leapfrog, a classic British kid’s game, demands nothing more than space, a group of friends, and a little bit of trust.
What you need to get your kids playing Leapfrog:
- At least two people – but the more the merrier.
- Open space (indoors or out – you just need to be able to fit all people into a line and leave about a meter before the line for the run-up and about 3 metres after the line to land and continue Leapfrogging).
How to play Leapfrog:
- The first child should crouch down and rest their hands on their knees. Younger children can simply crouch on the floor tucking in their head and feet.
- The second player runs up to the crouched child in front, placing their hands on their back and leaping over them like a frog flying through the air, straddling their legs wide apart on each side (why don’t you see who can do the best impression of a Leapfrog!)
- On landing, this child immediately stoops down into the frog position so that the third child has to leap over the first and second, and then adopts the crouching position for the fourth player to leap over.
- When all the players are stooping, the last in the line begins leaping over all the others in turn.
- Now get all your kids playing Leapfrog and let it go on forever!
What’s so great about playing Leapfrog? This classic game is not only great for agility and fitness; it also encourages teamwork and trust. Kids playing Leapfrog have to be aware of their place in the game, and it’s all about getting the timing right, knowing when to leap, and trusting the person they’re leaping over. It’s a fun, easy game to play in the garden, in the playground, or even indoors if you have space.
The history of Leapfrog
Classic games of this sort have been played in the UK since at least the late sixteenth century, but Leapfrog is now well known all over the world by different names, in France it is known as “saute-mouton”, or literally "leapsheep" and in India it is known as "Aar Ghodi Ki Par Ghodi" or literally "horseleap". It’s a simple game, requiring only a group of kids and plenty of energy. Let us know if you get your kids playing leapfrog around the park and if you remember any other brilliantly simple games that deserve a revival?