Jumping

Stages of Development
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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. Jumping should be introduced in Kindergarten/Pre-school and children will be expected to master the skill by the end of Year 3.

Teaching tips

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.

  • Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms forward, ankles, knees and hips bent, feet apart
  • Land as quiet as a mouse
  • Start with your arms stretched behind you like a superhero
  • Swing & Spring

If jumping for height try:

  • Reaching for a star and bringing it down again.
Developing Jumping through play

Toddlers will often attempt to jump. Initially this may be as a one-footed leap.

  • 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

Play simple, exploratory games to encourage jumping skills, such as;

  • Discovering Jumping: Explore your environment finding all the different things to jump over, on and off
  • Catch the Bubbles: Young children can have fun trying to jump onto, or jump up to touch bubbles
  • Dance Party: Jump around to the music in a fun and low pressure environment

Begin to encourage your child to use the KIDDO teaching cues - 'superhero arms' (extended out behind you) to swing and 'motorbike landing' are great to help children visualise a smooth jumping motion. 

The best way to support your child's confidence with jumping at this stage is to ensure they feel safe and comfortable. Use things in your environment, such as pillows, chalk, small walls with cushions under them or teddies positioned just out of reach to encourage them.

Try games like;

  • Jumping patterns – make your own jumping pattern using chalk, hoops or markers
  • Animal Walks – introduce some silliness by jumping like a frog or a kangaroo

As your child becomes comfortable with the preparation and landing movements, begin to focus on propulsion - the 'swing and spring' action.

  • Challenge your child to jump further or higher - use chalk on pavement, soft toys or ribbons tied in trees as markers to encourage them
  • Expose your child to a range of different ways to jump by setting up Jumping Stations e.g., jumping sacks, long jump, jump for height, skipping ropes, and hurdles to jump over
  • For children interested in sport, practice jumping in a way that incorporates their sport. For example, practice jumping for rebounds in Modified Basketball, or jumping into sandpits for children interested in Long Jump
  • Jumping up onto objects, like steps, can also be attempted at this age to continue to develop strength
Common errors
  • Arms and legs not in time
  • Taking off on one foot
  • Not using arms at all
  • Looking at ground
  • Not bending the ankles, knees and hips on landing

More jumping activities

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Balancing, Jumping, Dodging, Galloping, Hopping, Running, Skipping
Children balancing through an obstacle course
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Balancing, Jumping
baby clapping
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Balancing, Jumping, Galloping, Hopping, Skipping, Crawling