23 July 2018

The jump for distance (broad jump) and jump for height (vertical jump) have been combined here as they have similar phases and components.

Jumping should be introduced in Kindergarten and children will be expected to master the skill by the end of Year 3. It is a good skill to assess a child’s timing and rhythm as they need to coordinate their arms and legs to be able to jump effectively.

Checklist of skill criteria for jumping (broad jump & vertical jump):

  1. Eyes focused forward (broad jump) or upward (vertical jump) during jump.
  2. Ankles, knees and hips bend
  3. Arms swing behind the body
  4. Forceful forward and upward swing of the arms
  5. Legs straighten in the air
  6. Ankles, knees and hips bend on landing
  7. Controlled landing with no more than one step in any direction

Teaching Strategies

For beginners (at the emergent level of jumping skill development):

  • Focus on skill criteria number 1, 2 and 6
  • Start by teaching landing – jump off a small height and practice landing like you are riding a motorbike
  • Experiment with different types of jumping – into hoops, jump for a target, over small hurdles, into long jump pits, in jumping sacks
  • Children can get very easily fatigues when performing continuous jumps so mix jumping up with running and other activities
  • Try a jumping Obstacle CourseJump Jump and Hula Hoop Car Trip
  • Plan a fun jumping game
  • Encourage children to keep their eyes focused forward while performing jumps

For children at the developing level of jumping skill development:

  • Focus on the use of the arms in the jump, the ‘swing and spring’ to generate power
  • Try jumping against a wall and marking with chalk how high you can jump
  • Design obstacle courses with more difficult jumping obstacles: higher hurdles, wider hoops
  • Introduce jumping with skipping ropes – this is a different technique but still a good way to encourage learning of locomotor skills
  • Have fun playing Where’s my Cheese using Jumping as the focus

For children at the acquired or accomplished level of jumping skill development:

  • Try jumping for distance into a long jump pit
  • Have a go at a few older style games: Elastics, Sack Races and Skipping Rope activities
  • Introduce jumping into a sport setting – try jumping for rebounds in netball or basketball. Emphasise the use of the arms.
  • Play jumping games e.g. Jumping dodge ball and Jumping relays

Teaching Cues

  1. Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms forward, ankles, knees and hips bent, feet apart
  2. Land as quiet as a mouse
  3. Swing & Spring
  4. Reach for a star and bring it down again

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