Motor Development: Jumping

Jumping may not seem like an important developmental milestone for children, but it’s one of the activities children need for better gross motor strength, proprioception, motor planning, balance and core muscle. Without this development, your child’s lower levels of the brain (cerebellum) used for balance, coordination, attention, and rhythm could become underdeveloped, which could lead to delays in learning, sensory-seeking behavior, or attention and focus issues in the classroom.

Typically, children will begin with little hops a few months after they begin walking. Eventually, they will develop more strength and balance as they jump off furniture, hop on one foot, and jump downstairs.

What Is Jumping For A Child?

Jumping takes coordination, strength and, most of all, courage. So before your little one learns to jump, they’ll test out what their little body can do. For instance, you may spot your 1-year-old shifting their weight from one foot to the other — that’s practice for the fun feeling of getting both feet to leave the ground. Then, probably right after they hit the 2-year mark, your toddler will learn to jump off low structures (say, the bottom stair to your family room). That’s easier than learning to jump from a level surface and back while standing tall (jumping while bent, even from and to the same flat surface, is also simpler). At around 26 months, they’ll pick up this trickier skill, although your little leapfrog might demonstrate their jump as early as 21 months.

Why Is Jumping Important?

Studies have shown over and again the connection between jumping and fitness. Ever since NASA made its findings secret way back 70s, jumping has attained a celebrity status among the list of mild and simple exercises. A lot of other researchers have dug deep into the area.

Let’s look at some of the reasons that make jumping helpful for kids –

  • It’s great for kids averse to taking part in sports or sports activities
  • Kids get a chance to do a workout even without believing the same
  • Kids learn to control the movement of their body
  • Physical flexibility and improved postures are some of the other benefits of jumping

 

A Fun Way to include Jumping!

Plant And Harvest: Print out pictures of power foods and scatter them across from your athlete. Next, lay out 3 ropes and that will be your garden. Choose a running movement pattern based on your child’s skill level: Walk, March, Run, Gallop, or Skip. Give your child a number then have them plant their food on that number rope by completing that movement to the garden then have them run back to their spot. Once that is complete have them do a new movement to harvest their food and then have them run back to their spot!

 

FIND OUT MORE!

For more games and other fun moving activities find an Amazing Athletes program near you! If you want to spread the joy of movements and sports in your area check out our Franchise Opportunity page and learn how to become your own boss!

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