Kid Activities
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Jump Rope Rhymes and Games

March 23, 2009 02:30 by Barbara Shelby

Jumping rope is still a favorite on most playgrounds. Whether alone or in a group, jumping rope challenges both coordination and stamina. It's also a unique part of our cultural heritage. Historically it was first a game primarily for boys. Males usually did not use rhymes. Instead they spent their time on trick jumps: crossovers, double jumping, and peppers.

Migration of Americans from farms to towns and cities led to girls taking over this unique pastime of jump roping. One theory for this is that girls now had more time to play than they had back on the farm, and more friends to play with. On smooth city streets they put together dozens of games and hundreds of rhymes that make up modern jump rope lore.

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JUMP ROPE RHYMES

A SAILOR WENT TO SEA, sea, sea.
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see.
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

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COCA-COLA went to town
Pepsi cola shot him down
Dr. Pepper fixed him up and
changed him into Bubble up!

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DOWN BY THE RIVER, down by the sea,
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
I told ma, ma told pa,
Johnny got a spanking so ha ha ha.
How many spankings did Johnny get?
1, 2, 3.... (Keep counting until the jumper messes up).

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ICE CREAM SODA, cherry on the top,
who's your boyfriend/girlfriend I forgot?
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H (and so on until the person stops jumping) You take the letter he/she lands on and think of a name of someone you know that begins with the letter.

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TEDDY BEAR, Teddy Bear, turn around, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground-- Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe-Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, that will do!--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights-Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say good-night!
The children jump rope while they sing this rhyme, they act out the actions as the words come up in the rhyme. An example: when they say go upstairs, the child pretends to climb the stairs.

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CINDERELLA (#1)

Cinderella went upstairs to kiss a 'fella --made a mistake and kissed a snake--how many doctors did it take? (count until someone messes up)

CINDERELLA (#2)
Cinderella, dressed in yella
went downtown to meet a fella
on the way her girdle busted,
How many people were disgusted?
10, 20, 30, 40, 50...
Until someone misses.

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#1 I Like Coffee--With a partner...

I LIKE COFFEE, I like tea, I like (name of next person in line) to jump in with me." Then the two jump together, the second person saying the rhyme. When the rhyme is done, the first person runs out, and the new person comes in and jumps with the second person. OR...


# 2 I Like Coffee--Jump Alone...
I LIKE COFFEE, I like tea--I like the boys--And the boys like me--
Yes—No-- Maybe so—Yes—No-- Maybe so …etc.. (the answer is revealed when the child misses. )

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I HAD A LITTLE PUPPY
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub, to see if he could swim
He drank all the water, he ate a bar of soap
The next thing you know he had a bubble in his throat.
In came the doctor, (person jumps in)
In came the nurse,( person jumps in)
In came the lady with the alligator purse (person jumps in)
Out went the doctor (person jumps out)
Out went the nurse (person jumps out)
Out went the lady with the alligator purse (person jumps out)
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PEEL A BANANA:
Verse: The two holding the rope chant:

"Peel a banana upside down; see if you can touch the ground.” (the jumper tries to touch the ground without being tripped by the rope),” If you spell your name correct, you will get another chance . . ." The jumper then spells her name, including saying "capital" for uppercase letters of her name. If the jumper trips or messes up the spelling, it's another jumper's turn.

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STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE--Huckleberry pie--who's gonna be your lucky guy?
a, b, c, d, e, f, g etc.. Until the jumper misses.

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DOWN IN THE VALLEY where the green grass grows,
There sat (jumper) pretty as a rose.
Up came (a boy in the class, particularly one the jumper likes) and kissed her on the cheek,
How many kisses did she get this week? Count until jumper misses.

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MISS MARY MACK, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence, fence.
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn't come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July

Or, add to the end the following lines:
He jumped so high, high, high
He touched the sky, sky, sky
And he never came back, back, back
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A HORSE, A FLEA AND THREE BLIND MICE
sat on a curbstone shooting dice.
The horse, he slipped and fell on the flea.
The flea said "Whoops, there's a horse on me."
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RED HOT PEPPER
in the pot.
Gotta get over
what the leaders got. 10. 20. 30. 40 ..... ( Speed rope up until jumper misses)

Keep track of who has what score- then see who has the highest count.
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SCHOOL

Participants jump in the rope one at a time. They jump the number of times depending on what grade they are in. All participants start at Kindergarten followed by grades 1, 2, 3 ...

For Kindergarten they run through the rope without jumping, first grade they jump once, and so on... If they miss as they are jumping, they have to start over at Kindergarten.
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GRADE SCHOOL Decide how many will jump in! Participants jump in one at a time until everyone is in the rope.

First grade babies,
Second grade tots,
Third grade angels,
Fourth grade snots,
Fifth grade peaches,
Sixth grade plums,
All the rest are dirty bums!
Optional:  Do hot pepper (the rope turners turn the rope as fast as they can)

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ALL TOGETHER--

As they enter the rope, repeat
"ALL, ALL , ALL ..." until the last person is in the rope.
Say the chant and then the participants will exit on their birthday month.
“ALL, ALL, ALL, ALL ...”
“All in together, any kind of weather
I see a teacher looking out the window
Ding, dong a fire bell
January, February, March ...”

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SPANISH DANCER, turn around, (jumper turns around )
Spanish dancer, touch the ground. (jumper touches the ground)

Spanish dancer, do a high kick, (jumper does a high kick)
Spanish dancer, get out of town quick! (jumper exits and the next jumper begins )
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DUTCH GIRL
(Act out the different things as you're jumping rope)

I'm a little Dutch girl dressed in blue,
Here are the things I like to do:

Salute to the captain (salute)
Bow to the queen  (bow)
Turn my back on the submarine (turn around and face the other direction)
I can do the tap dance (dance)
I can do the splits (jump up high with legs apart)
I can do the hokey pokey (turn yourself around)
Just like this!

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JUMP ROPE ACTIVITIES/GAMES...

YOUNG CHILDREN can also enjoy jump rope games.
Starting at age 4, children can begin to learn. Start by having them jump over a stationary rope on the ground--- or an adult or another child can wiggle the rope and they can hop over the wiggling snake!

 Move on to swinging the rope back and forth slowly while they learn to jump over it; then once they get the hang of things, move on to swinging it overhead. If you don't have another adult or older child to help you swing the rope, you can hold one end of the rope and tie the other to a fence, chair, or play-scape.

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Idea: Consider having a JUMP-ROPE MARATHON (DAY OR WEEK...)
Keep track of numbers of jumps reached---and the kids try to beat their OWN highest number by the end of the day or week...

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JUMP ROPE WATER SPLASH!
Will Use: Jump ropes, plastic cups, and water

  • Give each child a plastic or paper cup full of water.
  • While two players twirl a large jump rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps.
  • They are to do this while holding onto their cup of water and trying to do let any water spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner.
  • You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup. (When you play games like this-make sure kids have their bathing suits on--let parents know that it will be "Water-Play Day!)
    From: funattic.com

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JUMP ROPE RELAY

Need one jump rope per Team...Divide group into several small groups. The first player of each group runs to their jump rope-which is placed  about 30 feet in front of each group. They then do five jumps and return to the group. The first group/team to finish is the winner.

Extension Play...Jump backwards-five times; Jump five times on your left leg (or right leg); Jump rope and say the multiplication table of fives. Do this until you get to fifty--say one number each time you jump.

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Idea: INTRODUCE DOUBLE DUTCH TO YOUR GROUP! START A CLUB OR TEAM!
GRADES 4th-6th AND HIGHER!

 

  • Children in this grade level will begin to enjoy jumping double Dutch. Double Dutch uses two people holding each side of the rope, but the trick is they use two ropes instead of one.
  • Those who are swinging the rope would swing the rope in their left hand to the left and the rope in his right hand to the right. The on looking children then jump the double ropes.
  • As participants become more skilled, the person jumping usually does tricks that may involve gymnastics or break dancing and can also incorporate fancy foot movements.

Young people do this for fitness and it is competed at world level. Double Dutch competitions are categorized as compulsory, free style and speed rope.


Check out you tube! There is no way any kids will think that jumping rope is for younger children once they realize the skill and sportmanship needed! Click on other group videos while there!

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DO YOU HAVE A PARACHUTE? This isn't jumping rope-but something you can do with jump ropes!

SNAKES (OR WORMS) on a parachute...
Place four to six skipping ropes on the chute. By shaking the chute, the children try to shake them off. See Parchute Category for other game ideas...

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