Jump Rope Tricks for Kids
Children all over the world enjoy jumping rope. Jumping rope is a game that kids can play at home, in the park and in the school yard. Kids jump rope alone, in teams or with a partner. Jump rope is an enjoyable aerobic, heart-healthy exercise for kids and adults. Teams can use one rope, two ropes or more. Turn the ropes slowly with some tension to keep them going. Try to keep an even “beat” by counting.
The scissors jump is easy and most kids can do this trick with a little practice. Jump over the rope and land with one foot forward and the other foot toward the back. When the rope comes around front again, switch legs. Continue jumping, moving the legs in a scissors motion -- left foot forward, right foot back and then right foot forward, left foot back. Land on the balls of your feet and lean forward to maintain your balance. The straddle cross is similar to the scissor jump. Land with both feet on the ground on the first jump. On the second jump, land with one leg crossed in front of the other. Land with both feet on the ground on the third jump. Finish the straddle cross jump by landing with the other leg crossed in front on the fourth jump. According to thinkquest.org, the scissors and straddle cross are basic jump rope skills that almost any child can perform. If a child can swing the rope by himself, he should be able to perform these tricks.
The two wheel with a full turn is a complex jump rope trick that requires two jumpers to perform. The jumpers stand side-by-side facing in the same direction. Each jumper crosses the ropes by holding the handle of the other jumper's rope. Place the rope held by the left hands in the back. The jumpers bring the left-hand rope across the front. The jumper on the left does not jump over the rope but turns clockwise toward the middle as she brings her left hand down between herself and her jumping partner. The jumpers swing the rope held in their right hands over. The jumper on the right does not jump but turns counterclockwise toward the middle. When the rope hits the toes of the jumper on the right, she jumps over the rope. The other jumper then jumps over the rope. Repeat these steps to keep the wheel turning. Children ages 8- to 9- years-old should be able to perform this trick with practice.
Long-rope tricks are performed with a minimum of two kids turning the rope while several other children jump. The Texas star jump rope trick requires two long ropes, about 12 feet long. The rope turners stand in a square and hold each end of a rope. The ropes cross diagonally. All four rope turners turn the ropes simultaneously so that both ropes are in the air or on the ground at the same time. Two turners standing next to each other rotate the rope clockwise, and the other two turn the rope counterclockwise. Jumpers then enter the star and jump both ropes at the same time. If a child can turn the rope, she should be able to participate in this trick. Children as young as 8-years-old should be able to turn the ropes with practice.
Double Dutch is performed by two turners who face each other and hold a long rope in each hand. Turning the ropes at the right time is essential to performing double Dutch. The turners lift one rope, held in the left hand by one turner and the right hand by the other turner, out and up. When the first rope reaches the apex of the upswing, lift and turn the second rope in the opposite direction. As the second rope goes up, the first rope comes down. The ropes then alternate striking the ground. Jumpers then jump over each rope as it strikes the ground. According to worldjumprope.org, children from age 10 should be able to turn the ropes for this trick with some practice. Any child who can jump a rope can jump double Dutch.
- Skip-Hop: Individual Skipping Tricks
- American Heart Association: Jump Rope Skills -- Forward Straddle
- American Heart Association: Jump Rope Tricks -- Straddle Cross
- American Heart Association: Jump Rope Skills -- Two-Wheel Full Turn
- Skip-Hop: Long Rope Tricks
- American Heart Association: Jump Rope Skills -- Double Dutch
- Think Quest: Learning New Jump Rope Skills
- World Jump Rope: Championship and Camp
- Amateur Athletic Union: Jump Rope Age Divisions
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.