Defy Gravity With These Jump Rope Games and Activities for Kids
This PE class favorite is big fun at home too!
Deena Campbell and Sarah Burns
Rain or shine, it's fun to jump. On the sofa, in puddles, up and down steps, and of course, on your bed. That’s why jump rope activities are so good for burning that summertime energy. But jumping rope isn’t just a quick energy burner, it’s also great for improving coordination, heart health, and building strong bones and muscles. (Did you know that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to running an 8-minute mile?) Let this list of jump rope games and activities inspire your entire family to get moving!
Explore using your jump rope in non-traditional ways with this easy game. Appoint one person to move the jump rope along the ground (just like a snake) while everyone else jumps over it when it’s their turn. Whoever's ankle gets "bit" by the rope snake (or whoever stomps on the snake by accident) is out. Last person standing wins!
Jump Water Splash
If the thought of jumping rope on a scorching hot afternoon sounds a little cray, here's a jump rope upgrade: Incorporate some water! Give each player a cup of water and ask them to jump into the spinning rope without spilling it. Whoever has the most water (and is the driest) after three rounds is the winner. Or just turn on the sprinkler and jump rope in the spray!
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Level up your jumping skills and your math skills at the same time with this game: Shout out a math equation to solve (think 3 + 2) and the jumper jumps the answer. Have older kids repeat the math equation before jumping the answer.
Jump Rope Reverse Limbo
This cool take on the limbo is fun for your entire crew. Have two people hold either end of a long rope slightly above the ground. Each kid should jump over it one at a time (instead of wiggling under it like in a regular game of limbo). After each person has a turn, raise it slightly. Just make sure the rope isn’t super tight as little ones can trip over it and injure themselves.
Over Under River Mountain
This game combines storytelling with improvisation and creativity — and a jump rope, of course! While two players hold either end of the jump rope, other players go on an epic quest through a dangerous land, where they face rushing rivers (wiggly ropes), high mountains (ropes held high to jump over), swaying vines (ropes swaying back and forth), earthquakes (ropes moving wildly up and down), tornadoes (ropes circling in an arc to jump through), and caves (ropes held low for jumpers to crawl beneath). Each rope holder takes turns shouting out the next obstacle, while jumpers take turns getting over, under, across, or through the rope.
Jump Rope Songs
Every playground has its popular jump rope songs — like "Miss Mary Mack" or "Big Mac Filet-o-Fish." If you're not familiar with these masterpieces, the rhymes are below, or you can check out this giant list of jump rope songs from teachers and kids.
As you jump to each song, be sure to jump in rhythm — and if you want a challenge, try adding in some of these advanced jump rope moves:
Scissor jump: Land with one foot forward and the other one behind, then alternate, moving feet front and back like scissors.
Criss-cross jump: As you jump, cross your forearms in an x so that your jumprope creates an arc to jump through.
Side-to-side jump: Land on one foot with the other foot out to the side, then alternate.
Jump Rope Song: Miss Mary Mack
Miss...Mar...y...Mack-Mack-Mack All dressed in black-black-black With silver buttons-buttons-buttons All down her back-back-back She asked her mother-mother-mother For fifteen cents-cents-cents To see the elephants-elephants-elephants Jump over the fence-fence-fence They jumped so high-high-high They reached the sky-sky-sky And they didn't come back-back-back Till the Fourth of July-ly-ly! Jump Rope Song: Big Mac Filet-o-Fish
Big Mac, Filet-o-Fish Quarter Pounder French Fries Icy Coke Thick Shake Sundaes and Apple Pies!
Green Toys Jump Rope
What’s a jump rope game without a proper jump rope? We love that this one from Green Toys is made of 100% recycled plastic and 100% cotton. It’s also adjustable, so it’ll hang around for years to come.
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