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Healthy New Year: Jump Around!

As we go into 2021, TNL want to help encourage all Early Years practitioners to value and promote their own physical and mental good health, the health of the children they care for, and to inspire good habits early and start the year right!

Here’s a simple idea for encouraging children to get moving in a playful, free spirit. It is best suited to older children in any size of group.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • Masking tape
  • Marker pen
  • Large area with space to run/jump about
  • Paper
  • Pen

Preparing the activity:

Option 1:

  1. In the middle of the room, stick a strip of tape (about the length of your arm) in a straight line. Label it as ‘1’.
  2. Stick another strip parallel to the first, about 10cm further along the floor and label it as ’2’.
  3. Continue doing this until you have ten strips of tape, counting up to 10 as they get further away from you.

Option 2:

  1. Mark a 1.5mx1.5m square on the floor, then separate into smaller squares with a strip of tape every 30cm. You should end up with a 5x5 grid.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Before starting the activity, talk to the children about moving. Do they enjoy running about or playing tag with their friends? Do they play football at home or go swimming? Explain that these activities are not only fun but also important for keeping our bodies healthy.

Option 1:

Ask the children if they would like to see how far they can jump. You can add variables such as ‘jump backwards’ or ‘hop on one leg’, they will probably be challenging you to see which leg you can jump on. Can the children jump further if they have a running start?

Option 2:

Show the children that it’s possible to cross the grid in different ways – hopping or hopscotch-ing. You can ask them to see if they can cross the grid stepping on only 4 squares, or less!

During or after the game, ask the children how they feel. Were their hearts beating faster or was their breathing heavier after the exertion? Explain that this means their hearts and lungs have been working hard and will be stronger because of it. Active games aren’t just fun, they help you be able to jump even higher!

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling: “Moves freely and with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping.; Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Observes the effects of activity on their bodies.”

40-60+ months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling: “Experiments with different ways of moving.; Jumps off an object and lands appropriately.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health.”