Jumping Into Math

15 October 4:00 am
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This is an article from’s newest e-magazine. The magazine is chocked full of great information-perfect for teaching preschool math–calculus.

A traditional Mathematics curriculum containing worksheets, flashcards and manipulatives has a place in your teaching toolbox. However, some children are able to further excel when provided variety through physical play. Teaching and reinforcing math skills using a jump rope may be the tool for your student to succeed. Using a jump rope for math games provides gross motor skills practice for the body while challenging the brain to multi-task and solve problems.

Geometric Shapes Game

You need to provide one jump rope per player. Make a page that shows the image of the shapes and their names. Shape examples are: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, trapezoid, hexagon and parallelogram. This page is to be shown at the beginning of each game and then be removed from view. The goal of the game is to quickly place the jump rope on the ground in the geometric shape that is called out. The child who correctly places their jump rope first is the winner. A game variation involves placing the names of each geometric shape on individual index cards and turning them face up at a distance away from where the children are playing. A geometric shape is called out and the children quickly make it on the ground. Then the children run to the index cards, quickly locate the correct name of the geometric shape and run back to put it in the shape. The first child to complete all the steps is the winner.

Verbal Math Game

You need to provide one jump rope for single players and a double jump rope for three players. The goal of the game is to correctly jump the number of times to an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division equation. With a single player, an equation is called out and the child is to jump the number of jumps to correctly answer without missing. When three children are playing, the first rope turner calls out a number and the second player calls out another number and whether the equation should be added, subtracted, multiplied or divided. The third player solves the equation in their head and proceeds to jump the correct number of jumps without missing. A very challenging game variation involves playing with three players and two double jump ropes. The same game steps are followed for the three player game except the rope turners turn two ropes in the opposite direction (Double Dutch) and the third player jumps the correct answer without missing.

Skip Counting Game

You need to provide one jump rope per player. The child should count and jump rope simultaneously by even or odd numbers, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, 9’s or 10’s. The goal is to be the first child to correctly skip count to a predetermined number without missing. If a mistake is made, a child must start over again. A game variation involves deciding on a finish line that children must cross while skip counting as in the above game but they jump rope towards the finish line while skip counting, without missing. The first child to cross the finish line while correctly skip counting is the winner.

Greater Than><Less Than Game

Collect a number of jump ropes and fold them into various lengths. Secure the jump ropes with rubber bands or twist-ties. Have your child arrange them from longest to shortest or shortest to longest. A game variation involves timing students to see how fast they can arrange the jump ropes. The student with the quickest time is the winner.

These games provide an alternative way to engage and encourage children to see that math skills are a necessary part of life. Identifying geometric shapes, solving equations, recognizing patterns and measurement skills are required and used on a regular basis. You may find that your own game variations are a better fit or be inspired to create your own jump rope games. Enjoy the exercise and

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