Kids love skipping games. They’re a really fun way to get moving and increase coordination and fitness.
On 24th April it’s the 20th annual National Skipping Day organised by Skipping Workshop. This was set up, working closely with schools, to promote skipping as a fun way to encourage an active lifestyle.
We remember our favourite childhood games fondly and have picked out our top skipping games for kids just for you. Why not get involved and brush up on your skipping skills with your kids?
Benefits of skipping rope games
As well as being low in equipment requirements, skipping has a whole heap of benefits, including:
Decreasing foot and ankle injuries by strengthening the muscles in your ankle joint and foot
Of course, it’s the associated rhymes that really bring back the memories. Not only do they supply their own entertainment, but are also really helpful for the rhythm of the game. Any familiar ones for you here?:
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, that will do! Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say good-night! Two people hold the rope whilst the skipper says the rhyme and makes the appropriate actions.
Jump With Me
I like coffee, I like tea, I like (person’s name) to jump with me. That person mentioned joins the first person so that two are now jumping. One, two, three Jumpers change places Four, five six Jumpers change places Seven, eight, nine, Jumpers change places Continue changing places and counting until the pair misses. The two change from right to left each time they said “change places” and all would keep track of who got the highest number before missing.
Peel a banana
Verse: The two holding the rope chant:
Peel a banana upside down; see if you can touch the ground. The jumper tries to touch the ground without being tripped by the rope. If you spell your name correctly, you will get another chance. The jumper then spells her name, including saying “capital” for uppercase letters of her name. If the jumper trips or messes up the spelling, it’s another jumper’s turn.
Quick and easy jump rope games
This is a great way to get them started with skipping games. Super simple and fun!
Scissor jumps: Land with one foot forward, then on the next jump switch feet
Cross jumps: Land with feet crossed like an X, then apart, then crossed again
Duckie: Land with heels apart, toes and knees pointed in; then on next jump, put heels together and toes and knees pointed out
Swing: Land on one foot and swing the opposite leg out to the side, then switch on next jump
Other favourites you can try out for fun:
Best group size: 2 kids
Double the fun by trying to jump with a partner using a single-person rope. Try face-to-face (with one person holding both ends of the rope) or side-by-side (each person holds one end or handle of the rope).
Skipping rope maths
Best Group Size: 1 to 6 kids
Ropes Needed: This can be done either with a regular jump rope for one or two kids, or use a longer double dutch jump rope to involve more children.
Version 1 - Give a maths equation to solve, like 2 + 5. The jumper repeats the math equation and then jumps the answer (in this case, they would jump 7 times). Use more complicated equations to practice maths and jumping skills.
Version #2 - This variation involves three or more kids using a long double dutch rope. On each end of the rope is a "turner," and in the middle is the "jumper." The two turners each yell out a number. The jumper combines the numbers (either multiplies, adds or subtracts depending on the rules you decide to use) and jumps the answer.
Turn this game into a competition with multiple kids by making it an "elimination" game. For example, if you have six kids, two are turners and four are jumpers. The jumpers form a line and take turns jumping. If someone jumps the wrong number, or makes a mistake while jumping, they are eliminated. The last jumper remaining is the winner.
Skipping rope water splash
You’ll need: Skipping ropes, plastic cups, and water.
Give each child a plastic or paper cup full of water. While two players twirl a large skipping rope, jumpers one by one attempt three consecutive jumps. They do this whilst holding their cup of water and trying not to let any spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner. You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup.
Skipping rope games have been entertaining children in the UK since the 18th Century, that’s a lot of skipping! Why not take a look at skipping games through the ages from The British Library.