Pada is a popular children’s game in many African cultures. Very similar to the game hopscotch, it’s a great way to improve hand-eye coordination and balance – and it’s heaps and leaps of fun, too!
Top tip!Instead of using a pebble each time you play, experiment with different objects. You could use a button, coin, bean bag, bottle cap, flattened can...and loads more!
Chalk or masking tape
About the activity
If you are playing on sand or soil, you can draw a game court with a rock. If you are playing on tarmac, you can draw the court using chalk, or mark it out with masking tape. Write numbers in each box, so the court looks like the one in this picture.
Players take it in turns to throw the pebble into a target box, starting with box one. If the pebble lands outside the target box, their turn ends and the next player has a go. If, however, they make their aim, the player hops along the court, skipping over the target box where the pebble lies. Only one foot can land in each square – only where there is a double box should both feet touch the ground (i.e. one foot in each box).
Once the player has reached the end of the court, they hop back through the court and collect the pebble, again skipping over the target box. If at any point they trip, place both feet in one box, step on a line or lose balance, they lose their turn and pass the pebble to the next player. They must then attempt the same target box on their next go. If, however, they successfully make it back the starting point, they move on to the following target box when their turn comes back around.
The first player to successfully throw and retrieve the pebble from the final target box (having progressed through the numbers) wins the game!