You will need
- Paper cups
- Access to water
- Three multi-person skipping ropes
Before you begin
- This activity works best when run with groups of eight people. Each group will need a leader, an adult volunteer or a Young Leader to run it.
- You’ll need a long skipping rope. If you don’t have one long enough for multiple people to jump at the same time, you could use a length of ordinary rope cut to size. Advise anyone interested in working on their skipping skills in their own time that solo skipping ropes are easy to find in sports shops like Decathlon or online from retailers like eBay or Amazon.
Run the activity
- In groups of eight, run the ‘whirlwind challenge.’ Two people hold a long rope at either end, with the rest of the group forming a line alongside the rope. Allow some space on either side of the rope.
- The ‘turners’ holding the rope should start to rotate the rope at a slow-to-medium pace. Those in the line should jump across the moving rope without touching it. One person should pass through for each rotation, so as soon as one player jumps through, it should be the next person’s turn.
- Jumpers are out if they miss their go (the rope rotates without them jumping through) or if they touch the rope. The last person still skipping is the winner.
- Now, in groups of eight, run the ‘jump rope splash.’ In an outdoor space, have two other people become the turners and hold the rope. The rest of the group should each get a paper cup full of water.
- The turners holding the rope should start to rotate the rope at a slow-to-medium pace. As with the whirlwind challenge, players should try to pass across the rotating rope, without spilling their water. Each player should pass across the rope three times, then compare cups to see who has the most water left.
- Players should refill their cups and do this again. This time, each should pass across the rope five times, then compare cups to see who has the most water left.
- Finally, in groups of eight, run the 'spinning wheel.’ In a large indoor or outdoor space, one person starts in the middle with the long jump rope. The rope should be laid out straight. From the point where the rope reaches, everyone else should form a circle around the person in the middle.
- Tie a knot at the end of the rope. Now, the person in the centre, the ‘spinner,’ can start to spin the rope around the circle, keeping it as low to the ground as possible.
- Everyone in the circle should jump to avoid the rope. The spinner may moderately increase their speed and spin in the other direction, if they choose. Anyone who’s touched by the rope should leave the circle. The last person jumping is the winner.
- Those interested in further developing their skipping skills should use the ‘Six week skipping skills development plan’ to learn more and track their progress. This six week development sheet could be used for other skills.
Benefits of developing skipping rope skills include lowering the chance of foot or ankle injuries, and improved cardiovascular health. The portability of a skipping rope also means that it can be done almost anywhere. This selection of games introduces us to some of the basic principles of skipping: balance, co-ordination and focus. How would you present what you’ve learnt to someone outside the group? What games would you play to show them the benefits of skipping?
- Outdoor activities
You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.
- Active games
The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.