When I was a junior high student, our P.E. had an entire unit on rope jumping and I loved it! In fact, I jumped rope on a local TV show with some of my classmates to promote our yearly program (wish I had video of that).
Rope jumping caused me to be in incredible shape as a child, but did you know that jumping rope can be beneficial for your young students in many other ways?
Stamina: Jumping rope builds not only physical stamina, but mental stamina as well. Concentration, patience, and wait time are all important skills for a young child to develop that can be honed as a child learns to jump rope.
Brain Development: Jumping rope is a great brain exerciser. Because jumping rope demands both physical and mental skills, it has a high impact on improved cognitive function.
Relieves Stress: Yes, young children suffer from stress and anxiety as they participate in pushed-down curriculum. Participating in jump rope exercises washes the brain with endorphins and cleanses the body as oxygen is pushed through the lungs.
Builds Cooperation: Jumping rope brings a sense of classroom togetherness. Suddenly everyone has a common connection and a common goal. The children learn to help and encourage each other in a cooperative play way.
Jumping Rope During Reading Time?
Teaching children the street chants and rhymes from yesteryear is a great way to promote interest in the genre of poetry. These verses carry with them the delight of rhyme, rhythm, and humor. All children love to "Make a mistake and kiss a snake!" I love to use these rhymes to authentically bring the love of poetry to my students.
Chants link communication and play. The group works together to count how many boyfriends Joan has or to name a friend that starts with the alphabet letter named at the end of the jump. Rhymes such as these invoke group conversations in a playful way.
These repetitive verses build meta-cognition skills that increase comprehension. Because meta-cognition is not as easily developed in the days of video gaming and television, it must be strategically taught and practiced. Listening to and repeating rhyming verses allow students to create mental images that support the words. The activity of creating mental pictures in one's head, builds fluent comprehension.
Jumping rope is also a springboard for great writing. My students could hardly wait to record the fun in their journals! Beside the writing, look at the visual acuity and spacial reasoning used in their pictures! YEAH!