Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Can Your Child Jump Rope?

By: Dr. Steve Sanders, Author of “Moving Matters” and Professor at University of South Florida

Parents are a child’s first and best teacher and can have a positive influence on physical activity by simply setting aside a few minutes each day to practice movement skills, introduce new skills and play with their child. Take for example the basic skill of jumping rope.  

Jumping rope has always been part of the culture of childhood. Even children as young as three can learn the movement patterns involved in swinging a rope and jumping. By the time they are five most children can turn the rope and jump several times in a row.
Did you know the exact origin of jumping rope is unclear; however, jump rope dates back all the way to the Egyptians? The basics include swinging the rope over your head then jumping on two feet and landing on two feet over the rope. Beginners should master this technique first before moving onto more advanced jumping.

A jump rope seven feet long with plastic beads along its length is most appropriate for young children. The plastic beads give extra weight to help a child swing the rope over the head. A longer rope tends to tangle. To assist young children in learning to jump rope parents can provide children with the following instructions:

“Hold your rope by both handles in front of your body with thumbs on top pointing down.”
“Make sure that the middle of the rope is flat on the floor.”
“Step over your rope.”
“Bend your elbows up to your ears.”
“Move your arms forward and swing the rope over your head.”
“Let the rope hit the floor.”
“Jump over the rope, take off and land on two feet.”

Safety Note: Initially ask your child not to jump while the rope is in the air. Children will sometimes do this and lose their balance. The rope should strike the floor in front of the child before the child jumps. Children learning to jump need to jump off two feet and land on two feet to help them stay on balance.

In as little as five minutes a day your child can develop the skills to jump rope. Whatever the skill or physical activity, the most important ingredient needed to help your child develop a foundation of physical skills is for you to set aside time each day to play with your child. Have fun jumping rope!

Questions about jumping rope and other foundational physical skills for preschoolers are answered in the new book Encouraging Physical Activity in Preschoolers from Gryphon House Publishers.  We created this book to help parents answer these questions and many more.  Physically active preschoolers have a greater chance of being healthy for a lifetime.  For more information see https://www.gryphonhouse.com/books/details/encouraging-physical-activity-in-preschoolers

About the Author: Steve is a professor at the University of South Florida where he is currently involved with the preparation of physical education teachers along with conducting research related to curriculum and instruction in early childhood physical activity.  His most recent project is the book series “Moving Matters” in which he outlines for parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers a variety of fun physical activity experiences to assist children in developing the needed physical skills to become physically active and healthy throughout life.   


  1. We were at Disney a few years ago and there were some guys in the park who had jumpropes for people to try if they wanted to and my husband jumped right in. It was hilarious, but he did really good.

  2. oh jumping rope was such a fun when i was kid.I have man memories in the park while trying to jump a rope and not being able to do this,

  3. I remember how much fun it was to jump rope as a kid. Sometimes it became a competition to see who was the best or fastest.

  4. This is great! Do kids still jump rope now? We used to love to when I was a child.

  5. There is nothing better than seeing a little one struggle with the task to practice and finally get it. I remember seeing one of my friends children finally jump the rope. We all clapped and made a thing out of it, but the rope kept going and she missed the next one. What got me was we all, got a wonderful surprise. Seeing the delight on the kids face is what I remember.

    For only a couple of minutes a day to finally be able to jump rope its worth it. I have not seen the beads skipping rope but its a brilliant idea. Thanks


  6. I spent so much time jumping rope as a child. I did teach my kids to do it and they had a lot of fun!

  7. This makes a lot of sense. When teaching them skills we definitely have to give them time. Teaching them to jump rope is a great way to keep them active.

  8. I love to jump rope. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. I remember when my childhood friends (girls) how they play jumping rope, it's really fun.

  10. My son has been asking me for a jump rope. I just to have so much fun as a child jumping rope and I would love to teach my son as well.

  11. I've never heard or seen any practical or actual ways to go with rope jumping. This one caught my interest and I'm thinking about losing a couple of pounds with this, for kids or not, sounds fun!

  12. My son is still on the toddler age, but when he grows up..we will definitely do jumping rope!

  13. My girls love to jump rope. We have a few of them at the house. It's still a little difficult for them, but they still keep trying and love it.

  14. My daughter is very aware of how important it is to remain physically active and healthy. :)

  15. I've been working on this with my youngest. In 2nd grade in our school district they have a big jump rope contest. She can't wait.

  16. My niece was always using jump rope with her playmates

  17. I remember when I was a child I always play jumping rope with my childhood friends


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Choosy's Blog Archive