Jump Rope Games

Hop, skip, and jump for fun with these jump rope games and skills.

Single-Rope Skills

kids playing jump rope game
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For kids playing alone, a jump rope is a great active toy. Challenge your child to learn some of the basic jumping skills, such as:

  • scissor jumps - land with one foot forward, then on the next jump switch feet
  • cross jumps - land with feet crossed like an X, then apart, then crossed again
  • duckie - land with heels apart, toes and knees pointed in; then on next jump, put heels together and toes and knees pointed out
  • swing - land on one foot and swing the opposite leg out to the side, then switch on next jump

See more skills at the American Heart Association.

Jump Rope Rhymes

If you have a small group of kids and a big rope, jump rope rhymes are usually a hit! Classics like "Cinderella" and "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" are easy to learn and add some fun variety to your jump rope games.


This jump rope game is good for beginners or younger kids who have trouble timing their jumps with a swinging rope. For Snake, the rope stays on the ground. Have one person hold it at each end and wave it gently along the ground like a slithering snake, while other players attempt to jump over it. Take turns being the jumper and the snake-mover.

Banana Split

This jump rope game doesn't actually involve jumping--but players do have to pay attention to the timing of the swinging rope. You need a long rope and two people to turn it. The remaining players form a single-file line so that the first person in line is facing the rope. The turners swing the rope forward toward the line, then away. As they do so, the first player must run under the rope and back without touching the rope or letting it touch him. After one pass, the second person in line joins in and both players run under the rope. Then three runners go together, and so on. If anyone touches the rope, or doesn't make it back and forth in time, start again with one player running.

Partner Jumping

Double the fun by trying to jump with a partner using a single-person rope. Try face-to-face (with one person holding both ends of the rope) or side-by-side (each person holds one end or handle of the rope).


To play this game, you need a group of kids, a long rope, and sidewalk chalk. Make a large circle on the ground (its diameter should be twice the length of your rope) and mark a spot for each player around the end of the circle. One player stands in the middle while the rest stay on their spots around the edges. This central player holds the rope up high and swings it in a circle while saying: "Helicopter, helicopter over my head, I choose a color and the color is ... " Once she names a color, she begins rotating the rope along the ground. When the other players hear the color name, anyone who is wearing that color steps forward and tries to jump over the rope. If anyone steps on the rope, the central player starts over

Water Splash

Play this one outside! While two friends turn a jump rope, each player must jump while holding a clear plastic cup of water. She must jump for a predetermined amount of time, number of jumps, or as long as it takes to recite a rhyme or sing a song (like "Happy birthday," if you're playing at a birthday party). After everyone has had a turn to jump, the winner is the player with the most water remaining in his or her cup.

Jump Rope Relay

Have kids jump their way to the finish line for a simple relay race. Or, incorporate jumping as one leg of a multi-step race. (Find lots of relay race ideas here).


Similar to Banana Split, above, you need a long rope and a good-sized group for this game. It's simple: Each time the rope twirls, another person joins in the jumping. So you start with one jumper, then two, and so on, until the chain is broken and there's a missed jump. (Some skilled twirling will help prolong the game by making it easier for new players to join in.)

Cat and Mouse

You need at least four players for this game: two rope-twirlers, a cat, and a mouse. The mouse must jump over the rope, run around one twirler, jump again, run around the other twirler and repeat (this will make a figure-eight pattern). Meanwhile, the cat is doing the same while chasing the mouse and trying to tag him. Give the mouse a one-jump head start. When the cat tags the mouse, rotate positions and play again.

Did You Know?

If your child loves jump roping, he or she can join a competitive team and participate in individual and group routines, including freestyle and double-dutch.

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