Jumping rope is a great way for kids to get some outdoor exercise and engage their brains, whether they do it solo or with friends. And since jump ropes are portable and inexpensive, it’s easy to keep kids supplied with correctly sized ropes that they can take anywhere.
Solo jumping skills: When your child is jumping alone, challenge them to try scissor jumps — land on one foot, then on the next rotation, land on the other. Cross jumps are another simple challenge, and just require landing with feet crossed on one rotation and uncrossed the next.
Snake: This activity is ideal for younger kids who aren’t quite coordinated enough to jump over the rope. One person wiggles the rope on the ground like a snake while kids jump back and forth across the rope. You can include an elimination rule if you want: When someone hits the rope, they’re out.
Jump rope rhymes: Small kids usually go nuts for jump rope rhymes, which can also help them build vocabulary, memorization and counting skills. “Cinderella,” “Miss Mary Mack,” “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” and “Fuzzy Wuzzy” are a few old classics.
Jump rope math: Add some extra fun to practicing math skills by giving jumpers a math problem to solve, like 5 + 5, and having them jump the answer.
Jump rope relay: Great for a larger group of kids. Divide kids into teams and set a distance — the driveway or a basketball court, for example. Each kid must jump their way across and back and hand off the rope to the next teammate. The first team to finish wins.