The Super Skipper is a great tool to work on jumping, coordination, timing, and visual perceptual skills to name a few. Just to warn you there is music that goes along with it, so if your child is sensitive to auditory input, they may not like this toy. There are 3 speeds that it operates at with a different song for each speed as well as a distinct noise that happens when the turning wand arm gets knocked off the base.
We have used it with kiddos who aren’t able to jump yet and they just practice being able to step over an obstacle as it approaches them. Its a great way to practice noticing your environment and obstacles that may be approaching. We have also used it with kiddos who are able to jump and we want them to practice the timing of being able to jump over an object as it is moving towards them (think jump rope but in a different context). Finally we have used it with kiddos who have weakness on one side more than the other and are working on skills like hopping. We have them practice hopping on their weaker side over the turning wand. As the kids practice these skills we make it fun by counting to see how many times they are successful and try to build on that each time. For kids who are doing it regularly we will keep a chart so they can see their progress.
What’s interesting to watch is how their abilities change as the speed of the wand changes. For the girl in the picture she was able to jump over it when it was on the slowest speed but as soon as it increased to the next speed she moved to the end of the wand so that she was only barely jumping over it (basically she was jumping next to it). With hand hold assistance and increased cuing she was able to jump over the wand at the faster speed but it was more of a challenge for her because of her change in perception of the moving target.
This if you think about it is relevant to kids out in their day to day environments as well. For many, they are able to recognize a change in their environment when it happens in a slow and controlled manner so that they can then react to it. If it happens faster or in a more crowded situation it is harder to react in a timely fashion, or possibly harder to even recognize the change that is happening. By using a tool such as the super skipper kids get to practice in a graded manner being able to visually attend to something and then react in a timely manner, while weaning down on verbal and tactile cues.