Jumping using a 2 footed takeoff and landing is a gross motor milestone that is generally seen around 2 years of age for typically developing children. This skill requires leg strength, coordination, and motor planning. Once your little one clears the floor, there are lots of different ways of jumping. You can jump up, forwards, backwards, and side to side. You can also jump onto, down from, and over objects. Here are some examples and progressions of how to get your little one jumping. If your little one is still working on jumping check out this video for ideas to help!
Squats: Helps build leg strength needed for jumping
- From standing squat down and stand up
- From a squat position, stand up quickly. Pretending to be tiny and then surprising someone works great!
- Mini squats with a toe raise
Bouncing: Bending and straightening knees quickly helps develop the coordination of increasing speed and changing directions
- Bouncing on mattress or trampoline
- Holding hands to encourage bending and straightening knees
- Stabilize at hips to give input of going down and up
Jumping Up: Jumping so that both feet clear the ground is the first step and then a progression is being able to jump up to reach for something
- Jump on bubbles, pillows, mattress, trampolines, etc.
- Use furniture support to encourage jumping up with hands stabilized
- Use a target overhead to reach/ grab
Jumping Down: This is fun to practice off of a bottom step!
- Start low and increase height as jumping progresses
- Assist at hands or hips and use works like “bend” and “jump” to help with timing
- Help them “stick” the landing
Jumping Forwards: Initially they may fall on landing or take off and land with staggered feet but practice will help refine the skill
- Use visual targes like footprints, dots, carpet squares, tape, etc
- Potato sacks or large bags are a great way to encourage jumping with feet together. Start by standing inside the sack/bag and hold on to the edges.
Jumping Over: Starting with low narrow objects is the easiest
- Start with a line on the ground or an agility ladder
- Progress using Hula hoops or pool noodles
- Increase the difficulty by jumping side to side or forwards and backwards
Jumping Onto: This can be so exciting and intimidating at the same time. Start with very low objects to build confidence
- Start by jumping up and bringing knees towards chest
- Start off with a small height and build up
- Coordinating arms swinging up with hip and knee extension helps increase height of jump
Higher Level Jumping Activities:
- Jumping rope
- Jumping over multiple hurdles in a row
Or try combining all sorts of things for a jumping path!