As I was browsing through Facebook the other morning while trying to get my morning started (yes, this has become my new snooze button), I saw a video someone had shared of kids using a jumping path. I thought is was so great that I took a screen shot of the video and brought it into work so that we could recreate it. Luckily, we have cut out feet that we had purchased at a conference a few years ago so this project didn’t involve much planning.
It is such a simple idea yet so great in that it works on many skills. A few of those skills are:
- Jumping – This one is pretty obvious. However, we have kids that struggle to keep both feet together while jumping (they do more of a staggered jump), and we are always looking for new ways to get more repetitions of jumping in. This is an easy way. Even if all of the feet were facing the same direction (forward, or backward, or to the right, or to the left) they would still get jumping repetitions in.
- Motor planning – The child has to look at where their feet are, look at where the next feet are, and plan how they are going to get there.
- Spatial/body awareness – The child has to understand where they are in space in relation to where they want to be
- Coordination – Getting their body to move in the way they have now figured out they need to move to get to the new set of feet
- Balance – It can be a little more challenging to jump and land on a precise location and stay there than to just jump forward and land wherever you want
Has anyone else tried this activity? Do you have any variations? I did figure out that you can make it easier or more complex by how you place the feet.
- Having the feet all pointing the same direction is the easiest.
- Next would be having them pointing at 90 degrees from each other (forward, right, forward, right)
- Clearly having a pattern of only two directions (see above) is easier than multiple directions
- The hardest would be a completely random path with 90 to 180 degree turns throughout and going in all directions