Jumping is a motor milestone that requires strength, balance, coordination, body awareness and motor planning. Jumping typically occurs in a step-wise manner, with children first experimenting with weight shifting, jumping down, jumping over, jumping up, hopping on one foot, and finally alternating hopping on single leg and double leg as in hopscotch. Listed below are some fun ways to work on teaching your kids how to jump:
- Colored targets- provide additional visual input to the child in order to cue them to jump towards their desired target.
- Creating obstacles- obstacles that vary in size, height and width challenge your child in order for them to learn to gauge how much they need to bend their hips/knees as well as learning how to use momentum to propel themselves up higher to clear the obstacle in their way.
- Animal jumps- role play allows children to be creative while they are working towards getting stronger. Fun jumps to try include: frog jumps, kangaroo hops and flamingo stance.
- Trampolines- make jumping fun and easy for kids when they are first learning how to jump and can still be a fun/creative way to work on the progression of jumping as they get older. Trampolines provide additional assistance with the rebound given from the springy surface, but the pliability of the surface also provides challenges to their strength and balance in order for the child to not fall over.