Young girl skipping rope on the beach

Skipping

Skip rope may sound like an old fashion schoolyard game, but skipping develops two fundamental skills, coordination and jumping. It’s also a great bonding exercise. Once you and your child have mastered the basic steps, get creative with skipping songs and games. You can find some great examples here.

  1. Go outside to your favourite play area. Mark a line on the ground. This becomes the jump rope line.
  2. Designate one side of the rope the “river.” Name the other side the “bank.”
  3. Have your child start on the “bank.” When you call out “river,” they must jump to over the rope with both feet together, tucking their knees upwards towards their chest.
  4. Continue to call out “river” and “bank” alternatively, as your child jumps from one side of the line side.
  5. If you yell out the same word twice, your child shouldn’t jump. This skipping warm-up teaches jumping, as well as listening skills.
  6. Once they’ve mastered the riverbank activity, your child can progress to the jump rope. Tie a jump rope to a fence or a piece of playground equipment, holding onto the other end. If both parents are present, they each hold one end of the rope.
  7. With your child standing on one side of the rope, begin to swing the rope over their head. Start slow, picking up the rotation speed once they’ve mastered both the coordination and jumping skills involved in skipping.

Inspiration

Coordination skills are useful in almost every sport and activity. The ability to count the beats of the rope and jump high enough to clear it develop a well-rounded child.

Variations

Alternate the rope rotation, increase the rotation speed, or introduce another rope.

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