20 Jump Rope Workout Games and Songs for Kids

9/21/21 - By Danielle Smith

A good jump rope workout is one of the best forms of exercise, and adding in catchy songs or turning that exercise into fun games for kids only dials up the excitement. Younger children can build motor skills, concentration skills and coordination, while more experienced jumpers can really challenge themselves physically, and barely notice that they're exercising.

Whether your child likes jump roping solo, skipping with siblings, or rounding up the whole block to join in the action, we've got jump rope workouts and games to get them going, and rhymes to pass the time. Parents will even remember some of these from the P.E. classes and playgrounds of our youth, so be sure to get the whole family involved for a high-octane jump rope challenge.

Keep in mind that a tree, column or post can always stand in as an extra child to "turn" the rope. For games that require something longer like a double-dutch jump rope, you can tie a couple of kids jump ropes together, which works out just fine for my daughters. Once you’re all jumped out, we’ve got way more energy-busting activities to get up and off the couch!

Jump rope is one of those perfect games to play with friends and siblings at home. Photo by Monstera via Pexels

Jump Rope Workout Games

1. Jump Rope Math

(One player or multiplayer)
Educational exercise is the name of this jump rope workout. Someone shouts out an equation, and the jumper has to solve it before jumping the same number of times as the answer. For example, if the jumper hears  "5+5," they’ll answer 10 and then try to take 10 jumps without missing. Your kid's math teacher will thank you.

2. Squirrels and Acorns

(One player or multiplayer)
You’ll need a pile of "stuff" for this exercise game: stuffed animals, books, toys, anything really to serve as the "acorns." The jumper in this game is the squirrel, who must gather their acorns from the pile some distance away, and bring them back home. Starting at home base (you can mark this with tape, chalk, or a piece of paper), the jumper rolls a pair of dice, and can either add the numbers or multiply them to determine how many jumps should be taken. After jumping the correct amount of times without missing, the "squirrel" runs to get an acorn from the pile and brings it back home. A single player repeats this process until all of the acorns are safe and sound, or the next person takes their turn if there are multiple players. Whoever has the most acorns at the end of the race, or finishes first in a head-to-head showdown is the winner.  Players can also set a timer and try to beat their last time on every new turn.

3. Jump Rope Water Splash

(Two or more players)
Jump rope and water play join forces in this kid-favorite outdoor game, where the jumper takes their turn while holding a cup of water. You’ll need either two children in addition to the jumper to turn the rope, or one child and a sturdy post to which the other end of the rope can be tied. Set a number of jumps for each round, and see who can get through their turn losing the least amount of water from their cup to determine a winner.

4. Snake in the Grass

(Two or more players)
Snake in the Grass is an ideal toddler game for those kids who haven’t yet mastered the mechanics of skipping rope. Yet, it still gets them jumping and concentrating on timing, while having lots of fun. Either two children put the rope on the ground and wiggle it back and forth like a snake, or one child can do this with the other end fastened to a post. Jumpers take turns trying to make it over the snake without getting "bit,"which happens if the rope touches their feet.

5. Helicopter

(Two or more players)
Similar to Snake in the Grass, the object of Helicopter is to jump over the rope as it passes by you without getting hit. One child is the helicopter, and stands with the rope fully extended, swinging it around in a circle. Those lined up on the circumference of the circle must time their jumps to avoid a crash with the helicopter. Once jumpers have cleared a few rotations, the helicopter can raise the rope in higher and higher increments to make the game more challenging. Moms and dads will definitely remember this jump rope game as a gym class staple.

6. Jump the River/Jump the Creek

(One player or multiplayer)
This is another cool jump rope workout game for budding jump ropers still working on those coordination skills, since the ropes are only passively involved. Simply lay two ropes parallel to each other. The distance in between is the river or the creek, depending on your neck of the woods! Jumpers get a running start if they wish and have to clear the imaginary waters to move on the next turn, when the river or creek is widened by moving the ropes further apart. Jump the River is great practice for your child’s Olympic long jumping debut.

7. Jump the Mountain

(Two or more players)
Instead of working on their long jump, Jump the Mountain gets kids working on their high jump. The rope is held a couple of feet above the ground to start, and each jumper takes their turn hopping over. Every turn the rope is raised, forcing players to leap higher and higher. We definitely recommend doing this jump rope workout in the grass or over a mat if possible – a soft landing will be appreciated.

8. Jump Rope Relay Race

(Two or more players)
How about a relay race to switch things up? This one’s pretty self explanatory, but can be done two different ways depending on the number of players. If just two kids are going head to head, then they can perform a new physical activity after the first stretch of the race. For example, they could jump rope from the starting point down to the end, do five jumping jacks, and then jump rope back to the start. The next round could be push-ups, then sit-ups, and so on until both kids complete their laps and someone wins. If you’ve got the neighborhood gang or enough extended family members to make teams, then the fastest team to finish takes the crown.

9. Partner Jump Rope

(Two players)
Sharing is caring, so grab a sibling or a friend for some partner jumping in this fun game to play with friends. There are a few different ways for two kids to share one rope. They can jump face to face, facing away from each other, or side by side. The rope can be swung forwards or backwards in all of these variations. When kids jump in pairs, they’re bound to get creative, finding new and different ways to work together.

10. Action Jump Rope

(Two or more players)
Kids can really refine their multitasking skills in a game of Action Jump Rope, where one player calls out actions, such as cross your arms, switch to one foot, or rub your belly. The jumper has to perform those actions while jumping without messing up. Once a mistake is made, it’s the next jumper’s turn.

11. Banana Split

Two or more players
This is another jump rope workout that's less about jumping and more about timing. The rope is swung in the direction of a runner (or runners), who must make it underneath the spinning rope and back, without getting hit. When kids need a little break from jumping, Banana Split is a nice alternative.

RELATED: 10 Push-up Challenges for Kids

Pick up the rope and belt out a a song! Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels

Jump Rope Songs

12. Bubble Gum Song

Here's a jump rope song that parents might recall. This short rhyme ends with counting, which is really just an added jump rope challenge. The object is to get in as many jumps as possible. It’s great for single jumpers, but more kids can join in on this jump rope game, too.

Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish
How many pieces do you wish?
1, 2, 3, 4…

13. Apartment for Rent

This is another short and easy jump rope song that invites jumpers into the rope and kicks them out just as quickly, for a fast-paced rotation-based game. The more the merrier on this one, but at least three kids are needed. Keep repeating the rhyme until someone makes a mistake.

Apartment for rent
Inquire within
When ____ moves out, ____ moves in! 
(Jumper exits the rope on "moves out," new jumper enters on "moves in")

14. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Your kids have likely heard this jump rope song before and mimicked the corresponding actions, but have they done it while jumping rope at the same time? The Teddy Bear song is much more complicated this way, and less experienced jumpers will need to practice before being able to turn around or touch the ground. Familiar lyrics like "tie your shoe" get a modification to make the rhyme doable. At least two kids are needed so that one can turn the rope for the other in this jump rope workout. Once children get through the whole rhyme, they can begin counting.

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoe
Teddy bear, teddy bear, that will do
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say your prayers
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs (mimic climbing steps with high knees)
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say goodnight
1, 2, 3, 4…

15. ABC and Vegetable Soup

You'll need 26 jumps and then some to get through this jump rope workout and song. If a child doesn’t make it all the way through, they pick an item starting with the letter that was missed to go in their imaginary soup.

ABC and vegetable goop
What will I find in my vegetable soup?
A, B, C, D...
(If a child misses on the letter P for example, they could pick peas, peanut butter, or porridge to go in their soup)

16. My Name Is

This song doesn’t necessarily rhyme, but that doesn’t take away from the fun. Each jumper has to state a name, a best friend’s name, a place where they live and something they sell, all starting with the letter of the alphabet that comes with their turn. The first jumper begins on A, and might say something like “A my name is Adam, I’m married to Alicia, we live in Alaska and we sell asparagus. The next jumper is the letter B, and so on until the game finishes. This can be a one-player rhyme, a multiplayer rhyme with jumpers in the rope together, or a multiplayer rhyme where jumpers alternate in and out of the rope.

17. Jump a Rope

Sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," Jump a Rope encourages quick foot action and increasing speed. During the line "hop, hop on each foot," the jumper switches from two feet to alternating every other foot. Each time the child makes it through the rhyme, they start again, trying to go faster each time.

Jump, jump, jump a rope
Merrily in the spring
Hop, hop on each foot
As fast as you can sing

18. Jump Rope, Jump Rope

This is yet another rhyme requiring some fancy footwork. On the counts of 1-4 and 5-8, kids switch from jumping with two feet to alternating on each foot. Each verse is repeated once, so they’ll be good and tired after a couple rounds of this jump rope challenge.

Jump rope, jump rope
Wanna play?
Jump rope, jump rope
What do you say?
Jump rope, jump rope
Hop in time
Jump rope jump rope
Sing in rhyme
1, 2, 3, 4, jump high, jump low
5, 6, 7, 8, jump up, let’s go
1, 2, 3, 4, jump high, jump low
5, 6, 7, 8, how long can you go?

Jump rope, jump rope
What do you say?
Jump rope, jump rope
Play all day
Jump rope, jump rope
Hop in time
Jump rope, jump rope
Sing in rhyme
1, 2, 3, 4, jump high, jump low
5, 6, 7, 8, jump up, let’s go
1, 2, 3, 4, jump high, jump low
5, 6, 7, 8, how long can you go?

19. Mabel, Mabel

Memorization and concentration skills really pay off in this rhyme. Mabel only has to set the table with four ingredients, but if a jumper messes up on "pepper," they’re thrown into "hot pepper" mode, with the turners spinning the rope faster and faster until the jumper messes up again.

Mabel, Mabel
Set the table
Do it fast as you are able
Don’t forget the salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard…salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard...
(Keep repeating salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, and try not to mess up on pepper!)

20. Miss Mary Mack

Yet another classic passed down through generations, Miss Mary Mack proves that hand-clapping rhymes work just as well with jump ropes. If two players are reciting the rhyme in the rope together, they can jump back to back, then turn around and face each other on the last line: "you lie!" Whoever turns around and points to the other jumper the fastest can claim to be the winner.

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
Jump over the fence, fence, fence
They jumped so high, high, high
They reached the sky, sky, sky
And they never came back, back, back
‘Til the fourth of July, ly, ly
You lie!

Find more at-home activities in our Boredom Busters Guide for Kids.