For Kids Jumping Rope Isn’t Just About Exercise – It’s Also About Fun
People have been jumping rope to stay in shape since Ancient Egyptian time. It is undoubtedly great exercise, for people of all ages, which is why many schools include kids jumping rope as part of their physical education curriculum. Students aren’t just skipping rope in place at school, however; they’re also playing hundreds of different games involving jumping rope.
We’ve selected some of the most fun and physically beneficial of these games and listed them for you below. For some of the games, your kids will need just one jump rope; for some, two ropes or more; and for some, they will need to split into teams. Regardless of how these games are played, however, they are all great way for your child to have fun while staying active.
Snake in the Grass
This game is perfect for younger children. Two people hold the ends of a jump rope, making sure it’s flat on the ground. They move the rope back and forth so that it looks like a snake on the ground, while the other kids jump over it. If a player’s foot touches the rope, it’s their turn to hold the rope.
Jump the Mountain
For this game, players need a long jump rope, with a person on each end holding the rope slightly above the ground. The players line up in front of the rope and jump over one at a time. After all have made the jump, the rope is raised slightly higher, and again everyone jumps over. With each round, the kids holding the jump rope raise it steadily so that it’s higher and more challenging to jump over each time.
NOTE: It is very important that the jump rope is held loosely so that if a child does hit the rope they don’t trip.
Jump the River
A variation of Jump the Mountain, Jump the River challenges players to jump further and further distances (rather than jumping higher). Two long jump ropes are needed for this game, and players hold the rope at each end with the two ropes held about six inches apart, to form the “river.” The players line up in front of the rope and jump over one at a time. To make it more challenging the kids holding the ropes slowly widen the distance between them.
This game is ideal for a larger group of kids jumping rope at a play date or birthday party. One player, acting as the “helicopter,” grabs one of the jump rope’s handles, bends down and lays the rope out in front of him- or herself. (Alternatively, they can also fold the rope in half and grab both of the handles.) The rest of the kids stand around the helicopter, who turns in a circle, swinging the rope low enough that it scrapes the ground, while the other kids jump over it. If a kid trips on the rope, they are out. The last player standing becomes the next helicopter.
Let’s not forget all those songs from our childhood we sang while jumping rope. Kids can sing songs as they jump rope on their own or in a group, with two people turning the rope and others taking turns jumping in the middle. One great song to try is the Sesame Street Jump Rope Alphabet Song.
Water Splash is an exciting game for a summer birthday party or summer camp. To start, give each player a paper cup filled with water. Two players will then spin the jump rope and a third player will jump rope while holding their cup of water. Each player jumps for a determined number of jumps or until a rhyme is chanted to the end. The player with the most water at the end of the game is the winner.
This ever so popular game is definitely one of the more complicated jump rope games out there, and it’s also only for advanced skippers. Two turners swing two ropes in opposite directions, while a jumper tries to hop in between them. Once you’ve mastered the standard jump in Double Dutch, you can then add your own flare with some dance moves or even make up your own games.
This game has become such a favorite among adults that it has been turned into a competitive sport. There is the National Double Dutch League, which holds yearly camps and a Holiday Classic, in which teams from all over the world compete. Double Dutch is also an integral part of USA Jump Rope Tournaments, as well as the AAU Junior Olympic Games, and has been a varsity sport in New York City public high schools for some time.
Jump Rope Relay
Relay races foster competition among teams and have always motivated participants to excel, which makes them great for kids and adults alike. To have a Jump Rope Relay, divide your group into two teams. Each team lines up at the starting line. The first player in line for each team starts with a jump rope. When the race starts, the first players from each team jump rope as fast as they can toward the finish line, turn around and return to the starting line. There, they pass the jump rope to the next player and continue until one team completes the race by having all of its players skip to the finish line and back. The first team to finish is the winner.
As you can see, the jump rope, a simple toy made up of a cord with handles on each side, can provide hours of dynamic and interesting fun for kids and adults alike. All you need is imagination and creativity to enjoy tons of games that are both fun and full of excellent cardio-muscular exercise.