Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Movement/Language

Objective: Children will develop large-motor and language skills as they learn how to jump rope.


  • several long jump ropes
  • several individual jump ropes


Encourage children to participate in the following games:

Wiggle Rope. Invite two children to hold the ends of a long jump rope. The children will need to stoop down and shake the ends of the rope to create a wiggling snake-like effect. Ask the rest of the children to form a line and take turns jumping over the wiggling rope without stepping on it. If a child steps on the rope, she will take an end of it. This game can be played indoors with music.

High Water/Low Water. Invite two children to take the ends of a long jump rope, holding it so the middle lies on the ground. Ask the children to form a line and take turns jumping over the rope. After the last child has had a turn, the rope is raised a little bit higher. Ask the children to continue raising the rope after each round. Encourage them to think of ways to get over the rope without touching it. When the rope gets too high for the children to jump over safely, invite them to bend underneath it, limbo-style. A child who touches the rope will leave the line to hold an end.

Blue Bells, Cockle Shells. Invite two children to hold the ends of a long jump rope and sway the rope from side to side while reciting the rhyme: blue bell, cockle shells, evie, ivy, over. Ask the other children to form a line and take turns jumping to the rhyme as the rope sways. When a child touches the rope, he takes an end. Encourage the children to think of other rhymes that they can recite while jumping.

Teddy Bear. As children become better at jumping rope, they can play this group favorite;

Teddy bear, teddy bear, jump around (turn white jumping)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground (bend low before jumping up)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, tie your shoes (touch shoes before jumping up)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, got the flu (jump out of the rope)

Remember: It is important to be flexible as children are developing their skills for jumping rope. Not all children will have the ability to jump rope, or the interest. Give them individual-sized jump ropes so they can practice during outdoor time. Some children may prefer to work on developing this skill at their own pace.

Curriculum Connection

Family Involvement: Jump-Rope Memories. Send a note home to parents to share how the children are learning to jump rope and play group jump-rope games. Invite parents to send in instructions for jump-rope games they remember playing or to come to the class and teach the children the games.

These activities originally appeared in the March, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.