Lesson 3 of 4
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Jump Rope Activities

National Standards:

1, 3

Teaching Outcomes:

  • I can perform two jump rope tricks at least one time.
  • I can work with a partner to create a jump rope routine.
  • I can identify activities/skills I’m good at and ones that I could improve upon.

Equipment Needed:

One jump rope per student

Limited Space Activities Jumping Activities:

If room is limited, the rope can be used to stimulate different jumping activities. The rope can be arranged in a straight line, circle, or made into letters. Primarily focus on jumping or hopping activities as a prelude to rope jumping. Since rope jumping is a demanding activity, these limited space activities can be used to offer rest intervals.

Straight Line Rope Activities

When the rope is placed in a straight line, start at one end and perform the activities along the length of the rope.

  1. Jog around the rope forward and backward. Try other locomotor skills such as hopping, jumping, skipping, and sliding. Do the Crab Walk down and back. Use various animal walks, such as Bear Walk or Lame Dog Walk.
  2. Hop back and forth across the rope, moving down the line. Return, using the other foot.
  3. Jump lightly back and forth down the line. Return.
  4. Hop slowly, under control, down the line. Hop rapidly back.
  5. Jump so that the rope is between the feet each time, alternately crossing and uncrossing the feet.
  6. Jump as high as possible while going down the line and as low as possible coming back.
  7. Hop with a narrow shape down and a different shape back.
  8. Walk the rope like a tightrope.
  9. Do a movement with the rhythm slow-slow, fast-fast-fast, going down the line; repeat it coming back.

For the following movements, move back and forth across the rope without changing the relative position.

  • Hop back and forth across the line. Jump back and forth.
  • Go over with a high movement. Come back with a low one.
  • Lead with different parts of the body back and forth. Propel with different parts.
  • Get into a moderately crouched position over the rope. Jump the feet back and forth over the rope.
  • Take a sprinter’s position with the rope between the feet. Alternate the feet back and forth over the rope.
  • Jump back and forth lightly on the tiptoes.
  • Go back and forth, using different shapes.
  • With toes touching the rope, drop the body forward across the rope, taking the weight on both hands. Walk the hands forward, out to the limit.
  • Stand straddling the rope. Jump up, perform a heel click (or two), and return to original position.

Circle Rope Activities

Make a circle with the rope and move around the outside clockwise and counterclockwise—walking, skipping, hopping, sliding (facing toward and away from the circle), jumping, running, and galloping.

  • Hop in and out of the circle, moving around. Jump.
  • Jump directly in and then across. Jump backward.
  • Jump in, do a 180° turn, and jump out, without touching the rope.
  • Begin in the center of the circle. Jump forward, backward, and sideways, each time returning to the center.
  • Place the feet in the circle and walk the hands all around the outside of the circle. Place the hands inside and the feet outside. Face the floor, the ceiling, and to the side.
  • Inside the circle, make a small shape. Make a large shape so that you are touching all sides of the circle.
  • Try different balance stunts inside the circle. Close your eyes and balance.
  • Make a bridge over the circle. How many types of bridges can you make?
  • Do a Pogo Stick Jump in and out of the rope circle.
  • Do a Tightrope Walk clockwise and counterclockwise.
  • Jump and click the heels, landing inside the circle. Repeat, going out.
  • Do jump turns (quarter, half, full) inside the circle without touching the rope.
  • Jump in with a Bunny Jump. Jump out. Try with a Frog Jump.
  • Take the weight on the hands inside the circle so that the feet land on the other side. Try a cartwheel.

Rope Jumping

Teaching Hints:

  1. The rope should be long enough so that the ends reach to the armpits or slightly higher when the child stands on its center.
  2. Key points to emphasize:
    • Keep the arms down and at the sides of the body while turning.
    • Turn the rope by making small circles with the wrists.
    • Jump on the balls of the feet.
    • Make a small jump over the rope.
    • Bend the knees slightly to absorb the force of the jump.
  3. Most steps can be done with a slow time or fast time rhythm. In slow time, the child jumps over the rope and does a second jump as the rope passes overhead. The rope rotates slowly, passing underfoot on every other jump. In fast time, the student does a jump only when the rope is passing underfoot.


Introduce some of the basic step variations. The basic steps can be done in slow or fast time.

  • Side Swing. Swing the rope, held with both hands to one side of the body. Switch and swing the rope on the other side of the body.
  • Double Side Swing and Jump. Swing the rope once on each side of the body. Follow the second swing with a jump over the rope. The sequence should be swing, swing, jump.
  • Alternate-Foot Basic Step. In the Alternate-Foot Basic Step, as the rope passes under the feet, the weight is shifted alternately from one foot to the other, raising the unweighted foot in a running position.
  • Bird Jumps. Jump with the toes pointed in (pigeon walk) and with the toes pointed out (duck walk). Alternate toes in and toes out.
  • Swing-Step Forward. The Swing-Step Forward is the same as the Alternate-Foot Basic Step, except that the free leg swings forward. The knee is kept loose and the foot swings naturally.
  • Rocker Step. In executing the Rocker Step, one leg is always forward in a walking-stride position. As the rope passes under the feet, the weight is shifted from the back foot to the forward foot. The rebound is taken on the forward foot while the rope is above the head. On the next turn of the rope, the weight is shifted from the forward foot to the back foot, repeating the rebound on the back foot.
  • Spread Legs Forward and Backward. Start in a stride position (as in the Rocker) with weight equally distributed on both feet. As the rope passes underfoot, jump into the air and reverse the position of the feet.
  • Straddle Jump. Alternate a regular jump with a straddle jump. The straddle jump is performed with the feet shoulder width apart.
  • Cross Legs Sideways. As the rope passes underfoot, spread the legs in a straddle position (sideways) to take the rebound. As the rope passes underfoot on the next turn, jump into the air and cross the feet with the right foot forward. Then repeat with the left foot forward and continue alternating feet.
  • Toe-Touch Forward. Swing the right foot forward as the rope passes underfoot and touch the right toes on the next count. Then alternate, landing on the right foot, and touching the left toes forward.
  • Toe-Touch Backward. This step is like the Swing-Step Sideways, ­except that the toes of the free foot touch to the back at the end of the swing.
  • Shuffle Step. Push off with the right foot and sidestep to the left as the rope passes underfoot. Land with the weight on the left foot and touch the right toes beside the left heel. Repeat the step in the opposite direction.
  • Crossing Arms. Crossing the arms while turning the rope forward is easier than crossing them while turning backward. Crossing and uncrossing can be done at predetermined points after a specific number of turns. Crossing can be used during any of the routines.
  • Double Turning. The jumper does a few basic steps in preparing for the double turn. As the rope approaches the feet, give an extremely hard flip of the rope from the wrists, jump from 6″-to-8″H, and let the rope pass underfoot twice before landing. The jumper must bend forward at the waist somewhat, which increases the speed of the turn. Challenge advanced rope jumpers to see how many consecutive double-turns they can do.

Shifting from Forward to Backward Jumping. To switch from forward to backward jumping without stopping, use any of these techniques.

  1. As the rope starts downward in forward jumping, rather than allowing it to pass underfoot, the performer swings both arms to the left (or right) and makes a half-turn of the body in that direction (i.e., facing the rope). On the next downward swing, the jumper spreads the arms and starts turning in the opposite direction. This method also works for shifting from backward to forward jumping.
  2. When the rope is directly overhead, the jumper extends both arms, causing the rope to hesitate momentarily, at the same time making a half-turn in either direction and continuing to skip with the rope turning in the opposite direction.
  3. From a crossed-arm position, as the rope is going overhead, the jumper may uncross the arms and turn simultaneously. This starts the rope turning and the jumper going in the opposite direction.

Communicate/connect the SEL competency of self-awareness along with its sub-competencies by explaining to students that part of being self-aware is being able to recognize our strengths is another part of being self-aware. It’s important to learn about our strengths and even areas of improvement. The more information we know about the person we are, we can make healthier choices. Add the following reflection activity to the end of your jump rope lesson.

Reflection Connection: Have students end with a moment of reflection. Students can reflect quietly on the activities they felt they were good at and activities that they felt they needed to improve upon. Students can choose to write down or share out the activity they felt they were the best at and one activity they think they can improve upon.

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