A Family Activity

Jump for More Physical Activity

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least three benefits of jumping rope as a form of physical activity.
  • Name three rules of exercise safety.
  • Apply the idea of pairing physical activity with family time.
  • Recall the physical activity recommendations.
  • Monitor their exertion during physical activity.



  1. Locate a room or open space that will safely accommodate all participants.
  2. Set up the music player with the Shake It Up! Tool Kit Version MusicCD.
  3. Become familiar with the content of each handout prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults, Physical Activity Scoreboard, Physical Activity Pyramid, Let's Get Active, Physical Activity and Exercise Safety, and Stretching Exercises handouts for each participant. If you are teaching this lesson in a series, you may want to reproduce only the handouts that are new to the group.

Warm-Up Activity

  1. Distribute the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults handout to each participant, and review the information. Explain to participants that to maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Explain that for most people, greater health benefits can be achieved by doing more physical activity. For example, to help manage body weight and prevent gradual weight gain, adults need 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. To sustain weight loss, adults need 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Note that some people may need to consult with a health care provider before participating in this level of activity.
  2. Distribute the Let's Get Active handout and pens or pencils to participants. Ask participants to complete the handout.
  3. Ask participants to share their answers, and record their responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see.
  4. Review the list of responses with the class, and use the discussion to introduce the Jump for More Physical Activity lesson. Explain some of the health benefits of jumping rope. For example, it's great for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, it improves agility, and it strengthens and tones leg muscles. Explain that jumping rope is a fun and easy way to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  5. Distribute the Physical Activity and Exercise Safety handout, and review it with participants. Engage participants in a warm-up by walking in place at a relaxed pace for 3 to 5 minutes.

Game 1—Simon Says—Let's Get Active


  1. Distribute a jump rope to each participant, and ask participants to spread out a safe distance from one another.
  2. Review the rules of Simon Says with the class. Remind participants that they are to act on a command when it is preceded with "Simon Says." If the command is not preceded with "Simon Says" and participants act on the command, they are out of the game. When participants act on a command not preceded by "Simon Says," remind them that "Simon did not say..." The last participant remaining is the winner.
  3. Before the game starts, demonstrate the following sample commands:

    Simon Says – Jump with both feet.

    Simon Says – Jump rope with one foot.

    Simon Says – Keep jumping and say "Eat more fruits and vegetables every day for good health."

    Simon Says – Stop jumping, put your jump rope on the ground, and march in place.

    Simon Says – Jump rope and say, "Be active every day for good health."

    Simon Says – Jump on one foot and say your favorite vegetable.

    Simon Says – Jump with both feet and say, "Physical activity with friends is fun."

    Now hop up and down (participants who hop up and down are out of the game).
  4. Begin the game by calling out the first command starting with the phrase "Simon Says." If a participant misses a turn jumping rope, have him or her start again to continue the game.
  5. Continue by calling out commands with the phrase "Simon Says." Repeat each command twice, and allow 20 to 30 seconds between commands.
  6. Alternate calling out commands without the phrase "Simon Says" every four to six commands. If participants follow this command, they are out of the game.
  7. Continue calling out commands until only one participant is left jumping rope.

Game 2—Jump to the Music


  1. Start the Shake It Up! Took Kit Version Music CD, and instruct participants to jump rope at a steady pace.
  2. Tell participants to continue jumping until they hear the music stop. The participants who keep jumping after the music stops are out of the game.
  3. Vary the amount of time between starting and stopping the music.
  4. Between each pause in the music, ask the remaining participants to name their favorite physical activity and where they like to do it.
  5. Continue the game until only one participant is left.
  6. For a tiebreaker, ask participants to name two rules of exercise safety. The winner is the participant who answers correctly.
  7. Conclude games 1 and 2 by leading a cool-down and stretch session by having participants walk in place and complete a variety of stretches as described in the Stretching Exercises handout. Ask participants how they might use the jump rope games at home with their friends and family members. Next, distribute the Physical Activity Scoreboard and Physical Activity Pyramid handout to participants. Encourage participants to use the Physical Activity Scoreboard handout at home to monitor their physical activity progress. Encourage participants to use the Physical Activity Pyramid handout to learn easy and fun ways to include physical activity in their daily lives.

Expansion Ideas

Jump Rope Contest

Conduct a contest to determine the best rope jumper. Recruit four to six participants to demonstrate their rope jumping skills. Jump rope skills can include the best jump rope trick, the longest number of jumps without stopping, jumping backwards, jumping on one leg, and so on. Remember to keep safety in mind.

The Alphabet Challenge

Have participants recite the alphabet while jumping rope and name a fruit or vegetable for each letter. When a letter does not correspond with a fruit or vegetable, have the participants say "______ is for eating more fruits and vegetables." The participant who can name the most fruits or vegetables while saying the alphabet and jumping rope is the winner.

Games From Your Childhood

Encourage participants to demonstrate different jump rope routines they did as children, such as "double dutch," if equipment is available.


  • Using the Stretching Exercise handout, set up stretching stations throughout the room prior to implementing the Warm-Up Activity. Post the pages using adhesive tape. Have participants rotate to each stretching station.
  • For Simon Says—Let's Get Active, make up additional commands that incorporate the Let's Get Active handout. For example, have participants jump rope and tell two ways to be physically active at work.
  • For Jump to the Music, make your own tape or CD of popular music.
  • Between games, discuss with participants the health benefits of physical activity.
  • Remind participants about the importance of exercise safety.
  • Ask participants how they might pair jumping rope with spending time with friends, family, or children.
  • Invite a representative from YMCA, YWCA, or Parks and Recreation to present the lesson with you.

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