Skipping: super games for children

Take a trip down memory lane with these fun childhood games

Super skipping games

Partner Games

These just use a regular skipping rope and usually one other person. The one I remember most is this one:

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I like coffee, I like tea
Start off skipping on your own. As you skip, say the following rhyme, including your friend’s name:

“I like coffee, I like tea. I like Julie in with me!”
Now your friend jumps in and skips with you and you say:
“I don’t like coffee, I don’t like tea. I don’t like Julie in with me!”
Your friend must now jump out of your skipping rope as you skip. Keep going for as long as you can without stopping.

Group Games

For these games you will need a longer rope (7.5m/25ft) and two people to turn it (‘enders’) Our favourites included:

Bumper Car, Bumper Car

For this game you take it in turns to jump in and say:
“Bumper car, bumper car number 48,
Went around the corner” (at which point you run out, around one of the enders and back in the other side),
“And slammed on the brakes” (here you stop the rope between your legs)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
One at a time, jump in and skip to this rhyme and do the actions described as you say it:

“Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs,
Teddy bear teddy bear say your prayers,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, switch off the light,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say goodnight.”

If you stop the rope or miss any of the actions you are out.
When out, swap with one of the people turning the rope.

French Skipping

You Will Need
A length of elastic around 5mm wide, and three players (or one player and two chairs if you are desperate!)

How To Play
Two players stand facing each other with the elastic stretched quite tight around their ankles to form a long rectangle. The third player has to perform a series of jumps and hops, singing a rhyme at the same time. For example:

“Peanut cookies when you bake
How many minutes will you take?
One, two, three, four, five”

On ‘one’ the player has to jump up and land facing sideways with the right foot in the middle of the loop and the left foot outside.
On ‘two’ they have to jump and land with the left foot in the middle and the right foot outside.
On ‘three’ they have to jump and land with both feet outside the elastic.
On ‘four’ they have to jump and land with both feet on top of the elastic.
On ‘five’ it gets really hard as they have to jump and land with both feet outside the elastic then shuffle round to face the other way, so the elastic makes a zig-zag shape around their legs, then jump out and land with their feet on top of the elastic.

If the player manages this tricky task, the elastic is raised to knee height for French Skipping superstars. When they get it wrong, it’s the next person’s turn, and the first person has to start from scratch the next time.

Another popular chant is this one:

“England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales,
Inside outside, inside, on!”

Super skipping games
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Excerpt taken from Your It! A Hop, Skip and Jump Through Childhood Games by Katie Hewett (Collins & Brown 2011) Available from Amazon.co.uk