This jumping activity for kids offers the opportunity to practice motor planning, body control, and more!
Once kids figure out how to jump, they are hard to stop! This important developmental milestone is not only fun, it is important. Here are some of the benefits of jumping:
- Motor planning
Learning How to Jump
Kids typically learn to jump around the age of two with this skill progressing from being able to jump up a few inches to forward, down and over.
Recently in my school based practice, I was working with a child who has progressed through many of his gross motor goals but who was still having difficulty with motor planning, midline crossing and body control. I pulled out the Jumping Hearts Game, because, as you may know, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday – and thought I would challenge him a bit. He loved this game so much that I decided to create a version that was just a little harder!
Hearts Lateral Jumping Activity for Kids
Lateral jumping is tough stuff for kids! They have to keep their feet together and their body under control. They have to cross midline and, in the case of this game, they have to motor plan where their entire body is going – in a side to side motion. It’s not easy! But, when you make a difficult task into a game, kids usually don’t notice how hard it is – they just know they are having fun!
Give this a try during your next session with the kid that you need to push to that next level!
What You’ll Need:
-1 large heart cut out of white paper
-1 large heart cut out of pink paper
-1 large heart cut out of red paper
-Heart pattern strips
*Scroll down and fill out the form to get the freebies!
What to do:
-Tape your hearts on the floor in any order (it’s a good idea to laminate them if you can)!
-Cut the patterns into strips.
-On the printable strips, you’ll notice that every pattern starts on the white heart so the child will begin either by standing on that heart or just behind it, following the rest of the pattern from there.
-Have the child look at the pattern card, jumping side to side to each colored heart as the pattern is shown on the card.
-If you need to make it harder, sequence two patterns together to make it longer!
-If the child has difficulty maintaining their body awareness and those jumps get a little crazy, use painters tape to create boxes on the floor behind each color heart to encourage the child to stay in.
Have fun and let us know how it goes!!
Looking for other fun jumping activities for kids?
And don’t miss some of our other favorites for Valentine’s Day!
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