Recipe for Fun!
Looking for a challenging, yet fun way to keep your kids active - and playing - during the COVID-19 school closures? Jump rope is a classic game that is fun to play alone, and also a fun, simple game for siblings to play together. Once your kids learn to jump rope, they can challenge each other to a jump-off. Plus, it will keep them occupied (and burning off the wiggles) while you work from home.
Tips for Choosing the Right Jump Rope: In general, the longer the jump rope the easier it is to use. Longer ropes are slower, so kids can become accustomed to knowing when the exact right moment is to jump. To make sure a jump rope isn’t too long or too short, have the child stand in the middle of the rope and pull up the handles. If the handles are about where their armpits are, it is the right length. Short ropes can cause tripping, so watch out for older kids using ropes that are made for younger - and shorter - kids. Also, pay attention to how much rope clearance there is above your little jumper’s head. There should be 20”-30” between the top of your child’s head and the rope while jumping.
How to Jump Rope for Beginners:
- Lay the rope on the ground and pick up the handles.
- Step over the rope. The rope needs to be behind your feet to start.
- Hold the handles out about 10 inches from either side of the body.
- Practice swinging the rope around without jumping at first, using only the wrists and hands to swing the rope.
- Once that is mastered, swing the rope over your head and jump over the rope one time.
- The jumper should not bend their knees, but try to jump using only their feet and ankles.
- Continue practicing a single jump until the jumper has the rope swing and jump in one continuous movement.
- Start with small goals, like 3 jumps in a row.
- Jump away!
The Benefits of Jump Rope for Kids: You could probably guess that jumping rope burns calories. But did you know that jump rope burns more calories per minute than jogging? It’s a high-intensity workout that’s also a lot of fun. It’s the perfect kid’s activity to burn off energy while kids are cooped up at home due to the coronavirus. And it doesn’t just burn calories! Jumping rope is also an excellent motor skill-building activity. Since kids have to pick up both their feet simultaneously while jumping rope, it builds bilateral motor coordination. Jumping rope for beginners also takes a lot of concentration, which helps kids hone their ability to focus. And like all physically challenging kids activities, jumping rope teaches kids emotional resiliency and the importance of having a try, try again attitude.
Play ideas for jumping rope: Once they have mastered the basics of jumping rope, there are lots of fun twists to keep them occupied and having fun:
- Count how many times they can successfully jump rope.
- Play music and jump rope to the beat.
- Try jumping rope backward.
Does my child need a weighted jump rope? Weighted jump ropes are used in fitness centers and gyms. Adults use them as a cardio fitness tool. They are not toys, and as such we do not recommend them for children. Stick with a classic kid-friendly lightweight jump rope, which can be found in the toy section of your favorite retailer.