Indoors or out, kids love to jump. Jumping allows children the chance to stretch their muscles and use up some of their boundless energy. Skipping rope and hopscotch have long been favourite activities for kids from many cultures. Provide opportunities for interactive and competitive jumping games, such as relay races and contests, to have happy and active kids.
Play hopscotch with young kids, as this games greatly improves balance and coordination. Draw a traditional hopscotch grid with chalk on concrete or create your own grid design. Number the sections one through eight and find a stone to throw. At his turn, have each child throw the stone on a numbered square and jump from one number to the next without jumping on the square with the stone. He should then turn around and jump back to square one, still avoiding that square. As a variation, have kids try jumping with only one foot. If their hopping foot touches a line, they have to start over.
Jack, Be Nimble
To see how high your kids can jump, safely recreate the nursery rhyme, "Jack, Be Nimble". Find a 20-inch square piece of cardboard. Fold it in half to make a 10-inch stand. Decorate another 15-by-10-inch piece of cardboard to look like flames of fire. Use clothespins to attach the cardboard flames to the stand so the kids can only see one inch of flame from their side. At your whistle, ask the kids one at a time to run and jump over the flame. After everyone jumps, raise the flame an inch so that two inches show. Keep raising the flame one inch to see how high your kids can jump. If jumping very high, place a mat on the other side so kids can land safely.
Divide the kids into two teams and line them up behind a starting point. Give each team a tennis ball. The first child in line should place the tennis ball between her knees and jump like a bunny to a chair on the other side of the room. After she goes around the chair, she should bunny hop back to her team so that the next person can go. If she drops the ball, she must stop and place it back between her knees before continuing. The team with all their members back first wins the game.
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