For many kids, the bounce of jumping rope is not only fun and a great cardiovascular exercise, but it also helps a child's ability to focus and learn. In first grade, emerging readers spend lots and lots of time on letter sounds and rhyme. They practice on everything, including days of the week and favorite foods. The next time your first grader pulls out a jump rope, try sneaking in a little academic support as well. Here are two jumprope chants your child can jump to, and that help with “body memory” of key reading concepts. Your child will have fun jumping rope and the rhymes will help her learn the days of the week in no time!
What You Do:
- If you are the jump rope-turner, sing the rhymes aloud for your child.
- If she is jumping by herself, sing the rhyme for her until she knows it by heart and can do it on her own.
- Write out the rhymes and ask her to read the words she knows, then read the rhyme to her.
One that teaches days of the week and matches them to their initial letters and to movement:
M for Monday, turn around,
T for Tuesday, touch the ground,
W for Wednesday, jump so high,
T for Thursday, touch the sky,
F for Friday, say hooray!
S for Saturday, time to play,
S for Sunday, clap your hands,
It’s time to start all over again!
One that teaches days of the week…and fun foods to go with each one:
Monday, mango, start the week.
Tuesday, tunafish, what a treat.
Wednesday, watermelon, red and cool,
Thursday, turkey, that’s the rule,
Friday, fresh bread, eat it hot,
Saturday, slurpees, thanks a lot,
Sunday, spaghetti, sun or rain,
Then start the week all over again!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.