Jump rope games for kids are a great way to get exercise while having fun. In addition, they help children develop their coordination and rhythm. They also improve balance and hand/eye coordination. When playing these games, make sure that your child is wearing good shoes with non-skid soles.
- Follow the Leader
This game is great for teaching children to follow directions and listen carefully. Choose one child to be the leader, who will create a jump rope pattern or tell everyone else what to do. You can play this game inside or outside.
This child will demonstrate the jump rope pattern first. The following players will then have to repeat it exactly, jumping both feet together or alternating their feet as they jump. If a player makes a mistake, he has to do push-ups until the next round starts.
- Simon Says
This game is played almost the same way as "follow the leader," except Simon gives out different types of commands, such as saying "jump high" or "jump low." This game is great for teaching children how to pay attention and follow directions carefully. It also helps build trust between kids because after all, Simon always tells you what to do so that he doesn't get in trouble! Make sure you choose one child who can be trusted with giving these commands.
- Giant Group Jump Rope
This game requires a large area and may not be possible on most playgrounds. It's best to play it outside on the street, in a park or on the beach, although it can also be played indoors with enough space (such as across several hallways). The children will need to use their arms for balance, so make sure you're playing this game somewhere where they won't get hit by cars or other people.
To start, one child stands at either end of the jump rope line (the rope should be taut). They will then chant "One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight NINE TEN!" At this point, everyone jumps together. Then they chant "Ten Nine Eight Seven Six Five Four Three Two One" and jump. Repeat this cycle until you reach the end of the jump rope line.
- Chant Jump Rope
To play this game, children will need to form two lines facing each other, either indoors or outdoors. The person at the front of each line will be "it." They will then begin saying a chant together with their arms moving in rhythm with the chant for example, "Miss Mary Mack/All dressed in black/Black boots up to her knees/Didn't know what to wear" (the players are now jumping at every word). If they make a mistake or get out of sync with one another, they have to do push-ups until the next round starts.
- Tag Jump Rope
This game can be played in an open area so that no one is out of reach if someone gets tagged during play. The person who's "it" will give a pattern to follow, such as jumping on every other letter or word in the chant. For example, "Miss Mary Mack/All dressed in black/Wanted another Jack/Got kissed by a big bear cat." If you're out of sync with everyone else or make a mistake, you have to do push-ups until it's your turn again. This game helps children learn how to follow directions and rhythm patterns while having fun at the same time!
- Jump Rope Relay
This game is best played in teams of two or four. You can line up the kids side by side or have them stand in a circle. One person will then jump rope while everyone else holds the end of the rope (or if using an actual jump rope, they'll hold it still). Their teammate will run to them and take their place on the other end of the jump rope without tripping over it, with everyone holding onto it tightly.
The next person in line will then begin jumping, and so forth until each player has jumped once consecutively (and this continues with each team member until you reach all players). Then you reverse direction for another round, switching team members midway through. This game helps children learn how to follow directions.
- Snake in the Gutter
This game requires two jump ropes and can be played by two or more children. Each child will get into position at the end of a jump rope (they'll hold onto both handles). One player then holds up his/her hand, making a "snake" with their pointer finger and thumb so that it looks like an imaginary snake is coming out of their hand. The other players must stay still and not move until told to do so by the leader. The "snake" will then begin crawling along the ground towards them while chanting:
Look this way 'cause I'm about to attack!
Now find me in this gutter crack!
Can you see my head peeking through?
Before I hide I'll give you a clue!
I'm the color of the sky on a sunny day!
(The snake then hides, while players join in on one more "snake" chant.)
If any player is tagged by the snake before it hides, they must stand up and help make another set of snakes until everyone has been tagged. Then an entirely new round begins with different children making the snakes. This game helps teach children turn-taking skills, how to listen for cues, and how to follow directions.
- Water splash
For this game, two jump ropes are needed. You can split a group of children into teams and create an elimination round for this game by making sure that only one team participates in around. One player is "it" while the rest stand on the other side of the jump rope (or hold it still).
The player who's "it" will swing the jump rope at waist height to make a wave, jumping over it when it gets to his/her knees and swings back towards him/her. If you get hit with the wave, you're out until each teammate has been tagged by the wave. As long as your team is still active, you can block other players from crossing or try to knock them down. This game helps children learn how to follow directions.
- Leap Frog
For this game, you'll want to create two teams and line children up behind one another in a row or circle. Each child will then hold onto the shoulders of the child in front of them and jump over the "frog" (the bottom of the imaginary crook in the rope). This is repeated until everyone has jumped once consecutively without stumbling over the frog.
Then you reverse direction so that one team doesn't get too far ahead or fall too far behind. When you feel like changing it up, draw two separate lines with chalk on the ground and have each group hop from one line to another instead of crossing through where they were before. There's no jumping when hopping! This game helps children learn how to follow directions.
- Hip Hop
This game requires two jump ropes, held still or moving at half-speed so that the children can keep up with them. The leader will need to call out the name of each child in line by calling out "Sarah" and pointing to her when it's her turn, etc. until he/she reaches the end of the line again (or if you're changing direction, starts over).
If any child is not paying attention or misses their name being called, they must go back to the start (or whatever point the leader has made) and join Sarah at the end of the line. This game helps teach listening skills and following directions.
Solo or with friends?
If your child is taking classes, or you can find a friend to practice with, jump rope games are fun activities to play together. If he/she doesn't have anyone else to play with, try finding books that use rhyming words and phrases so that your child can recite them while jumping over the rope. He/she will get to learn new vocabulary while having fun! You can also get creative by using different objects around the house (like chairs) for each jump rope game.
Also, no need to use a jump rope! There are plenty of other ways to create fun with jumping, like using balloons for bouncing games or holding hands and hopping around in a circle.
Inside or outside?
It doesn't matter if you play inside with the jump rope or outside in your yard. Just make sure to have a special place for it so that no one trips over it when they walk through the house, but it's still available when you want to have some fun!
Of course, outside you or your child will have to be careful to watch for cars, dogs, or horses when playing around the house. Plus, when you're done, hang your jump rope up so that it's ready to go next time.
At the same time, inside your kid will have to be careful not to play too rough. You don't want anyone getting hurt by running into each other or the furniture, so make sure to watch closely!
If your child is timid or doesn't like playing with others, he/she can still enjoy jump rope games by practicing solo. These are fun activities that will help him/her learn new things and do something positive for his/her body at the same time!
How to choose a good jump rope?
There are plenty of different kinds of jump ropes to choose from, so here are a few things to look for when choosing the best one:
Length - this is very important. As a rule of thumb, your child should be able to hold the handles with an outstretched arm and the tip of the rope should hit either his/her ankles or can touch the floor if he/she only bends his/her knees slightly. This ensures that it's not too long or too short for him/her to get a good workout.
Types - if you're buying a jump rope for an older child who isn't taking classes, there are plenty of other ways to learn new vocabulary while having fun! You can also get creative by using different objects around the house (like chairs) for each jump rope game.
If your child is taking classes, or you can find a friend to practice with, jump rope games are fun activities to play together. If he/she doesn't have anyone else to play with, try finding books that use rhyming words and phrases so that your child can recite them while jumping over the rope.
Always make sure that your child is safe while playing any of the games. If he/she is jumping over a rope, be sure that there's no furniture or other hard surfaces where someone can trip on it and hurt himself/herself. As for using objects around the house to jump over, use your best judgment as to what could cause someone harm if not used properly.
If you want a quick workout, a good length of a jump rope is from the handles being held with an outstretched arm and the tip of the rope touching their ankles. If you're teaching your child how to jump rope without taking classes, research activities will keep him/her interested in learning new words while having fun! You can also get creative by using different objects around the house (like chairs) for each jump rope game.
If your child is taking classes, or you can find a friend to practice with, jump rope games are fun activities to play together. As a rule of thumb, your child should be able to hold the handles with an outstretched arm and the tip of the rope should touch his/her ankles or can touch the floor if he/she only bends his/her knees slightly. This ensures that it's not too long or too short for him/her to get a good workout.
With the safety precautions, fun jump rope games are an amazing way for your child to get exercise. Not only are they healthy activities that get him/her moving, but it's a fun way to spend time together during playtime or after school!
Whether you decide on buying a jump rope or using household objects instead, make sure to keep safety in mind while having fun. As a rule of thumb , your child should be able to hold the handles with an outstretched arm and the tip of the rope touching his/her ankles or can touch the floor if he/she only bends his/her knees slightly.