Activity: Skipping

by Jadwiga O'Brien on July 30, 2011

Girl skipping

Skipping is a great way for kids to burn off energy - children should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day!

Skipping is great fun and is a fantastic way for children (and parents!) to stay fit. You can skip indoors or outdoors, but make sure you have plenty of space. You can skip anywhere with a firm flat floor. You can skip solo or in groups if you’re using a long rope.

Equipment

A skipping rope! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use an old rope or buy a cheap one from a sports shop.

For solo skipping, the rope needs to be the right length. To size the rope, the skipper should step on the mid point of the rope, and the handles should come up to their shoulders. If your rope is too long, simply tie a couple of loose knots close to the handles. If the rope is too short…you need a new rope!

Flat soled shoes – trainers are ideal, but any shoes will do.

How to Play

The best thing about skipping ropes is their simplicity. Using them is fairly instinctive – when the rope comes towards you, jump! However, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are different ways of using your skipping rope.

  • Basic jump: two feet jump together over the rope.
  • Speed step: this is the one where you switch which foot is on the ground after each jump.
  • Half jumps: this is basically one basic jump along with a hop while the rope is going over your head.
  • Double under: this is the basic jump, except you’re aiming to jump twice as the rope goes over your head.
  • Crisscross: Get the rope to do a loop around you by crossing your arms.
  • Jumping Jack: this one is basically a regular Jumping Jack except instead of jumping over nothing, you jump over the rope!
  • Long Rope: This is when you have 3 people or more and a rope long enough for two people to swing each side while the people (or person) in the middle jump).

There are loads more types of jumps you can do, but try these out first and you might even come up with your own!

Health Benefits

Skipping is really good for your coordination, balance and bone health. It’s also better for your knees than running as your feet hit the ground in a different way.

Video Tutorials

Here is a really good video that might help you learn how to skip:

For a short video clip of some impressive freestyle skipping look at this video:

 

Do you remember any of the skipping games and rhymes from when you were a child? If so please share them with us in our comments box below.

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