Hopping

Stages of Development
Teaching and Learning

Hopping is a more advanced skill than jumping as it requires balance and strength. Children between the age of 5 and 7 should show marked improvement in speed, control and technique. Hopping is a good indicator of being able to maintain balance while moving, which is often referred to as dynamic balance. This is a difficult skill for kindergarten/preschool children who still may be learning to jump.

Teaching cues
  1. Quiet landings (bend ankles, knees and hips)
  2. Bend your leg to push off
  3. Head up and eyes forward (look towards where you are hopping)
  4. Swing & spring
Teaching strategies

  • Focus on bending support leg on landing and then straightening on take-off
  • Start by practicing balancing on one leg
  • Hold hands with the child if needed when attempting to hop to help with balance
  • See how many hops in a row
  • Try hopping through and around obstacles
  • Have a go hopping on the other leg
  • Play games such as Wicked Witch and What the Time Mr Wolf

  • Encourage children to achieve greater distance in their hops by hopping over obstacles such as hoops or small cones. Create a hopping obstacle course
  • Introduce the use of the arms to generate power
  • Hopping can be very tiring so break activities up with running, side stepping, skipping etc.
  • Play hopping games such as  Lilypads and Leapfrogs
  • Use hopping as the form of locomotion in fun tag games such as Anything Tag  or Waspital

  • Try out some Hopping Patterns, children can follow feet markers (L, L, R, L, R, R, R) and then can create their own hopping pattern
  • Introduce Hop, Step and Jump into a long jump pit
  • Play some hopping games - Stork Tag
Skill criteria
  1. Support leg bends on landing, then straightens to push off
  2. Lands and pushes off on the ball of the foot
  3. Non-support leg bent and swings in rhythm with the support leg
  4. Head and trunk stable, eyes focused forward
  5. Arms bent and swing forward as support leg pushes off
  6. Able to hop on both left and right legs
Common errors
  • Unable to maintain balance for consecutive hops
  • Landing with stiff ankles, knees and hips – you may hear a slap when they land
  • Hold swing leg stiffly to front, side or back
  • Arms not actively moving to assist the action
Skill usage

More hopping activities

Balancing, Running, Jumping, Dodging, Hopping, Skipping, Galloping
Children hopping around playing a tag game
Balancing, Running, Jumping, Dodging, Hopping, Skipping, Galloping
Children hopping around playing a tag game
Balancing, Jumping, Hopping, Skipping, Galloping