1. Snake in the grass
This game is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Two people hold the ends of the rope, making sure it’s flat on the ground. Shake the rope so it looks like a snake, while the other kids jump over it. If your foot touches the rope, it’s your turn to shake it!
2. Helicopter, Helicopter!
This one is fun for a large playdate or when all the neighbourhood kids gather round. One player (the helicopter) grabs one rope handle, bends down and lays the rope out in front of himself (he could also fold the rope in half and grab hold of both handles). The rest of the
kids stand around the “helicopter,” who turns in a circle, swinging the rope low enough that it scrapes the ground, while the kids jump over it. If a kid trips on the rope, she’s out. The last player standing becomes the next helicopter.
3. Jump with a song
If you jumped rope when you were a kid, you
might remember some of these skipping songs (“Strawberry Shortcake”, anyone?). If not, there are online resources that can refresh your memory. Song games can also be played in a groups, with two people turning the rope and others taking turns jumping in the middle.
If your kid hasn’t mastered the basic skipping jump, check out this step-by-step video that will help you teach them how:
4. Chinese jump rope
Chinese jump rope is played much differently than Western jump rope games.
For starters, the rope itself is stretchy and circular and the two players hold the rope their legs. If you don’t have a Chinese jump rope available, try tying two slim, plastic jump rope cords together at the ends. The jumper can then jump in between, over or on the cords themselves in a pattern. The challenge is to keep doing this as the cords increase in height and width.
5. Double Dutch
Double Dutch is definitely one of the more complicated jump rope games, and is for advanced skippers.
Two turners swing the ropes in opposite directions, while a jumper tries to hop in between them. Once you’ve mastered the standard jump in Double Dutch, you can then add your own flare with some dance moves or even make up your own games!
6. Getting Fancy
If your kid has mastered the basic jump, get them to try jumping side-to-side (The Skiier), front and back (The Bell), or backwards. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has some fun videos of different moves.