You don’t have to be a professional poet to write a great jump rope rhyme! Though we all know the classics like “Cinderella dressed in yellow” and “Teddy bear, teddy bear…” writing your own jump rope rhymes can be a great way to mix writing skills with playground fun – though you might not know it, jump rope rhymes incorporate poetry elements like rhythm and rhyme. Try your hand at a jump rope rhyme poem by organizing your ideas first, then composing your creation.
Remind your child of some classic jump rope rhymes like “A, my name is Alice, my husband’s name is Andrew, we live in Alabama, and we sell apples.” (Continue through the alphabet: “B, my name is Beth,” etc.).
Have your child think of some category ideas such as “favorite foods,” “favorite places,” or “favorite animals.” With her paper and pencil, have her go through the alphabet and make a list of her favorite items for that category, such as apples, bananas, carrots, desserts, eggs, fettuccini, grapes, etc. She might be advised to skip the letter “X” each time, since there are less words starting with that letter.
If your child is more of a spontaneous song creator, she could just come up with the category first, then make up the song in alphabetical order as she is jumping rope, rather than writing the song ahead of time.
Whether she is the plan-ahead type, or someone who likes to create on the fly, either way she will have fun singing her rhyme while jumping rope. She can share her jump rope song with friends so they can sing it too. They might make it a contest to see who gets to the furthest letter of the alphabet while continuously jumping rope.
Ask your child if she learned anything about writing or rhythm when creating the song, or when jumping rope to the rhythm of the song. She can be asked to notice how words of different syllable length affect the rhythm of the jump rope song, for example.
Happy jumping and happy singing!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters