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Name of Activity:
First Attempts at Jumping Rope
Purpose of Activity:To provide children with simple directions and assist them in learning how to turn and jump over a jump rope.
Suggested Grade Level:PreK-1
Materials Needed:A rope, seven feet in length, preferably one with plastic beads along the ropes length
Description of Idea
Young children love the challenge of trying to jump and land over a rope. Even children as young as three years of age can learn the movement patterns involved in swinging the rope and jumping at the appropriate time. By age 5, most children can turn the rope and jump several times in a row.
A jump rope 7 feet long with plastic beads along its length is
the best type of rope for young children. The plastic beads give the rope extra weight to help children swing the rope over their heads. A longer rope tends to tangle; a shorter rope is difficult for children to get over their heads.
Following is an example of what the teacher might say to the young child to assist them with the initial steps of learning to jump rope.
- 1. Hold the rope by the handles, one in each hand. Hold the handles with your thumbs pointing down.
2. Hold the rope out in front of your body.
3. Step over the rope.
4. Bend your elbows up close to your ears.
5. Move the arms forward and swing the rope over your head.
6. Let the rope hit the floor.
7. Jump over the rope, taking off and landing on two feet.
Note: Some children will not be ready to jump over the rope and should be instructed to simply step over the rope. Jumping will come later. At this point the most important factor is that the children learn how to turn the rope.
Emphasize that children should not jump while the rope is in the air. Children will sometimes do this and, losing their balance, fall forward. The rope should strike the floor in front of the child before the child attempts to jump.
The following video clip is used with permission from the School of Physical Education & Exercise Science, University of South Florida. All rights reserved. 2007.