Authors as Published

Elena Serrano, Associate Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. (

Age   X Children 7-10X Children 11-14   X  Mixed AgesVirginia Standards of Learning
English 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.2, 8.7
Health 3.1, 3.2, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1, 8.2
Setting   Classroom    CampX  Either
Location   Outside Indoors X    Either

Project Skill: Developing and demonstrating simple jump rope rhymes.

Success Indicators: As a result of this activity, children will be able to:

  • learn how to design a song, rhyme, or rap when they jump rope
  • demonstrate that being active can be fun
  • describe the importance of physical activity

Life Skills: Learning to learn, Cooperation, Communication

Preparation Time: If you are doing the variation, gather the song book and assemble the “Wheel of Fortune.”


  • Kids Activity Pyramid (VCE publication 348-097)
  • Jump ropes
  • Jump Rope Rhymes handout (VCE publication 348-037)
  • Space to perform the routines
  • “Wheel of Fortune” wheel, songbook (for variation)

Optional Handouts:

  • Move It!
  • Move It! Diary
  • Add It Up (VCE publication 348-240)
  • Calorie Chemistry (VCE publication 348-241)


  1. Introduce jump rope rhymes. If possible, have some experienced children or helpers demonstrate a couple of simple rhymes. Be sure to show both single-person (short rope) and group (long rope for two turners and one or more jumpers) variations. Different songs and routines can be done using each type.
  2. Ask the students (either alone or in groups) to compose their own jump rope rhymes. Depending on the class, you may wish to limit the topics of the rhymes to physical activity, diet and nutrition, or other specific subject matter.
  3. Have students practice their rhymes. They may want to make up jump rope routines, with specific actions accompanying various parts of the rhymes. (For example, as part of the “Teddy Bear” rhyme, jumpers spin in circles during the chant “turn around.”)
  4. Ask students to perform their jump rope rhymes for the class.
  5. Show the class the Kids Activity Pyramid. Ask them where jumping rope belongs in the Kids Activity Plate, along with their favorite activities.
  6. Close the class by discussing the importance of being active for at least 60 minutes a day and having fun, for physical and emotional health, for different body parts. Ask them to tell their friends about this activity.


  • Jump rope rhymes can be written and performed either for a single-person (short rope) or for a group (long rope).
  • The writing section could be promoted as part of an English or Language Arts lesson, while performing the jump rope rhyme for the class may also be done as part of either Music or Physical Education class.
  • Children should be very careful with the jump ropes. Even soft ropes may hurt when they are spinning quickly. Also, remind children that they should never wrap a jump rope, or any rope, around their necks.
  • Hand out one of the flyers for them to take home or to do in class if you have time.

Other Ideas:

  • Rather than using jump ropes, divide the class in half. Use a “Wheel of Fortune” wheel with silly (camp) songs listed on each spoke (Grey Squirrel, Singing in the Rain, etc.). One group spins the wheel and has to sing the song, complete with all of the motions. The other group observes and records the physical activity involved (example: stretching from head to toe, hopping on one foot). After each group has acted out several songs, examine all of the motions involved and discuss the physical benefits from doing those motions.
  • For older children, instead of rhymes, have them write “raps” or even create songs. They can perform them while doing hip-hop or another dance style or jumping rope.


  • Did you like this activity? Why or why not?
  • Which part was most difficult? Writing the rhyme? Singing the rhyme or song? Performing it? Or jumping rope?
  • Which rhyme or song did you like the most?


  • When you have been moving your body around for awhile, what happens to your body? Why do you think this happens?
  • Do you think jumping rope burns more calories than walking?
  • How many minutes did you jump rope?
  • What do singing and physical activity have in common?
  • How does singing build teamwork? Why?


  • What other activities involve rhyming and rhythm?
  • Why are aerobics done to music?
  • What other physical activities are done to music?
  • What other activities involve the physical skills needed in jumping rope?


  • Why is jumping rope a good way to build strength and coordination?
  • How can you use physical activities and music in your life
  • What will you share with your friends and family about this exercise?


Being Active can be fun!


This publication was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low incomes. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your local county or city Department of Social Services (phone listed under city/county government).  For help finding a local number, call toll-free: 1-800-552-3431 (M-F 8:15-5:00, except holidays).  By calling your local DSS office, you can get other useful information about services.  
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, disability, or political beliefs.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
This publication was partially funded by the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program, USDA, CSREES.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

December 13, 2011