Jumping is an essential part of early years development and is important for bone and muscle strength and the development of motor planning skills. Children are ready to start exploring the skill of jumping once they start walking. To start with they might jump in one place, barely leaving the ground, this progresses to two feet take off and landings as they start jumping off, over and on to things.
Use KIDDO’s teaching vocabulary to help children explore the skill of jumping. Start with practicing jumping off a small height or into a sandpit and practice your motorbike landings.
- Start with your arms stretched out behind you like a superhero
- Swing & spring – swing your arms forward and spring with your legs
- Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms stretched out in front and ankles, knees and hips bent
If jumping for height try:
- Reaching for a star and bringing it down again.
Provide opportunities to jump both indoors and outdoors. Encourage children to explore the skill of jumping by asking questions such as:
- What can you jump over?
- What do you do with your arms when you jump?
- Can you teach me how to jump?
- How do you jump high in the air?
- How far can you jump?
- Show me lots of different types of jumps? Can you do a star jump? A frog jump?
Join in the jumping activities or play a game of Follow the Leader.
Encourage children to have fun with jumping by setting up your indoor and outdoor environment with interesting jumping opportunities. Try some of the ideas below to encourage children to have fun jumping high, jumping long and jumping off things!
- Hang ribbons from trees for children to jump up to and pull down
- Provide obstacles of different heights for children to jump off. Set up a mat underneath to help build confidence
- Place coloured cones in the sandpit to try and jump on to
- Use trampolines and place pillows and soft toys to jump over
- Blow bubbles to jump on
- Set up interesting jumping obstacle course both indoors and outdoors. To increase children’s confidence and engagement let them create their own jumping obstacle courses.
Try playing some of KIDDO’s fun and age appropriate activities to encourage children to develop and explore the skill of jumping.
- Animal Walks – jump like a frog or a kangaroo
- Lilypads and leapfrogs – jump from lilypad to lilypad, but watch out for the crocodile
- Jumping patterns – make your own jumping pattern using chalk, hoops or markers
- Discovering jumping – explore your environment finding all the different things to jump over, on and off
- Beans – are you a jumping bean or a jelly bean?
Children are ready to start exploring the skill of jumping as soon as they start walking.
- They will start jumping in the one spot, barely leaving the floor
- May not be able to take off and land with two feet to start with
- Jumping off something like a low step may be easier initially and they will normally land in a squat position.
- As they build up their strength they will be able to jump over low objects
- And then be able to jump up onto things.