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20 Jump Rope Games and Ideas for Young Kids

Are you wondering what you can do with a jump rope? Need some new activity ideas and games to try at home or with your class?

Children have enjoyed skipping ropes for generations! Over the years, kids and adults have thought up many ways to play with them.

These are often accompanied by chants, songs, and rhymes, while others are more focused on exercise.

What are the Benefits of Jump Rope Games?

While taking part in skipping rope games, children build their health and motor skills in many ways, such as cardiovascular, muscle tone, bone mass, coordination, rhythm, stamina, and endurance. 

In addition to these health benefits, taking part in jump rope games also strengthens kids’ verbal, memorization, vocabulary, and social skills.

What Games Can You Play with a Jump Rope?

There is a wide range of activities that you can try with this fairly inexpensive play and exercise tool. 

They can vary from one child with a short rope to a group of kids using one or two of the longer-style jump ropes. 

Check out the following 20 fun jump rope games and activities for kids. Some of them are 1 or 2 player jump rope games, others are suitable for a group.

20 jump rope games pinterest image

1. Singles Skip

In this jump rope game for one person, your child holds a jump rope that is about 6 feet in length with hands at around hip level. 

They rotate their wrists to swing the rope in a variety of ways while they jump over it with their feet together or with one foot at a time. 

Many kids like to count their accomplished skips or recite a chant.

2. Partner Jump

Two children use one jump rope together in this activity. 

They can stand facing each other, with one person turning a short rope, or stand next to each other, while they each hold one end of a somewhat longer rope.

3. Doubles Jump

At least three children use a long jump rope for doubles. One child holds each end while another jumps over the rope that is swung, twirled, or moved in various ways for jumping or hopping. 

children playing jump rope

While jumping, they could face one of the children who is twirling or could position themselves with a twirler to their side. 

With a larger group, more than one child can jump at a time. Kids typically count or chant, taking turns as the jumpers and the twirlers. 

4. Double-Dutch

In “double-dutch,” two ropes are twirled at the same time in opposite directions while one or two children jump. 

This game requires higher-level skills for both the jumpers and the twirlers but could be a good goal for preschoolers to eventually achieve.

5. Jump Rope Chants and Rhymes

Various rhymes and chants that kids already know can be recited while they skip rope. Some favourites include “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar,” and “Miss Mary Mack.” 

Action rhymes that include hand or other body motions can add an extra challenge, such as “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.”

6. I Like Coffee

Using a long rope with a group of kids, the following jump rope rhyme leads the skippers into inviting others to jump with them. 

After they jump for a set number of skips, the most recent arrival restates the poem and calls a new person to join.

I like coffee,
And I like tea.
I want __________
To jump with me!

7. Count and Jump

While skipping individually or in a group, kids can count forwards, backwards, or using skip counting as they gain those counting skills.

child jumping rope by herself

8. Spell and Skip

Preschoolers are often learning to spell their names. Challenge them to call out the letters of their names each time their feet hit the ground. 

You can start with first names and eventually progress to include last names. Kids then move to give the next person in line a turn when the spelling of their name is completed.

9. Jump the Year

As they jump, kids name the months of the year in order. When the year is complete, the next person in line begins their turn.

10. Splash!

Best played outside on a warm day, two children turn a long jump rope while another child skips holding a plastic glass full of water. 

Jumping continues until the glass is empty and the child is nice and wet!

11. Jump the Alphabet

Jumpers recite the letters of the alphabet as they skip rope, either individually or in a group. Used in a group, the jumper then switches as soon as “Z” is reached.

children jumping rope outside

12. Walk a Tightrope

Preferably using a long jump rope, children imagine themselves as tightrope acrobats in the circus. 

The rope is stretched out straight on the ground, and kids walk the rope heel-to-toe while avoiding any steps onto the grass or pavement. 

This activity is especially helpful to build their balance skills.

13. High Water, Low Water

This jump rope game is best played with a group of children. 

Two of them hold the ends and begin with the rope on the ground for “low water.” The other kids wait in a line and then jump or step over the rope, which can be stationary or swinging slightly. 

After they have all taken a turn, the rope is raised a bit for “higher water.” Play continues until the “water” is too high for any to make it over successfully.

14. Helicopter 

One child holds the end of a long jump rope. Other children in the group are stationed around them in a large, marked circle. 

The rope turner rotates while moving the rope around them on the ground in a circle, much like the blades of a helicopter. When the rope reaches each child in the circle, they must then jump over it. 

This game can also be played with a colour naming option. The circle of children is enlarged out of the rope’s range. 

The child in the middle shouts out a colour, and only those kids wearing that colour move in closer to jump over the rope when it turns their way. 

In general, this game is great for eye-foot coordination.

15. Snake!

Two children hold the ends of a long jump rope, waving it along the ground like a snake slithering through the grass. The other children take turns jumping over the moving rope. 

16. Bunny Hop

With feet together, children hop over a jump rope stretched out on the ground or held by two kids just a bit above ground level. 

For an extra challenge, “bunnies” can travel the length of a rope on the ground, hopping from the left side to the right all the way along.

17. Traffic Jam!

This activity requires a group of children and begins with two kids holding the ends and turning a long rope for one jumper. 

After a set number of jumps, such as five or ten, the first person in line joins them. They jump together the set number of times, and then the next child joins them. 

Skipping continues until the jumping “traffic” prevents ease of movement.

two kids jumping rope together

18. Jump Rope Tag

Four children play this game at a time. Two twirl the rope, and one child is “it.” 

The child who is being chased jumps a set number of times (such as two or three), runs around one of the twirlers, jumps three more times, runs around the other twirler, and then jumps again. 

Beginning just a bit after the first jumper, the child who is “it” starts following the same path. Their goal is to tag the other child.

19. Follow the Leader

With a group of children and a long jump rope, kids take turns being the “leader” and modelling a chosen jump rope skill or chant for the next person in line to mimic. 

Once completed, that child models a new skill for the next in line to copy.

20. Jump Rope Relay Stations

With a fairly large group of children and/or additional volunteers, you can set up a jump rope relay course for teams. 

Each “station” has a jump rope challenge that has been introduced to the kids before start time. 

Teams work their way through the various stations, trying to be the first to reach the end goal.

In addition to all the other benefits previously mentioned, skipping rope games can also encourage creativity

Challenge your kids to make up their own chants and games to see the fun multiply!


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Activity Pack for preschoolers

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