Jumping Jacks: An indoor game that gets your kids moving

Kinderling News & Features

This is an excerpt from Alice Zsembery's book Real Kids, Real Play: 150+ Activities to do around the home using household items, activities about bringing real childhood back.

I am not a child expert. I am neither a qualified educator nor a childcare play therapist. I am just a tired, working mum who wants to give my children the best start in life but has often felt completely overwhelmed.

I have become sick of the pressure placed on parents to sit in a playground all day, plan fun-filled activities and excursions in the hours after the kids have gone to bed, and spend copious amounts of money on toys that will only be played with for five minutes at best. And the clutter, oh my, the clutter in spaces I didn't even know existed!

If you are the ethereal mum that I wished I was for so long - with endless time, money, toys (and space for the toys) and boundless creative ideas - go you. You rock my world and you are doing a fabulous job. 

We are all doing a wonderful job of raising our children with the resources that we have available. My book is designed to make that job a little bit easier and more enjoyable.

My aim was to find, test and modify activities that could be done at home with everyday items. This activitiy is from a tried-and-true list from myself and close friends!

Jumping Jacks

What you need

  • Tape 

Age Guide: three to five years old.

What kid doesn't love to hop around? Simply tape lines to the floor and have them jump over them.

A great activity for burning energy, this also enhances gross-motor skills and coordination.

You can also try the following: 

  • Hop over each line on one leg.
  • Hop backwards over them.
  • Long jump: How many lines can they jump over in one go?
  • Run and jump: Experiment with how much farther they can jump with a running head start.
  • Balancing beam: Take the tightrope challenge and try to walk along the line, and then jump to the next one.
  • Put your feet on one end: How far can you stretch and reach?

Kids love a competition. Let them try to beat their previous score or, our favourite, beat their brother/sister. Let them experiment by creating different rules. How about the teddy doing a long jump or hopping with your eyes closed?

Handy Hint: As an extension activity for three to five year olds, try putting different numbers, letters or shapes on the floor and creating rules, such as ‘Hop between the L and the R’ or ‘Crawl backwards to the triangle’.