Ball Bounce and Jump Rope Games for Better Learning

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Helping your child succeed in school is as easy as a bounce and a jump. Patricia Wilkinson, co-author of "Brain Stages", stopped by to show us some fun learning and movement games.

Ball bouncing games -- the brain combines rhythm with memory for better learning.

  • Synonym Bounce: bounce a ball back and forth saying words that mean the same thing. Ex: big, huge, large, gigantic, enormous, massive, gargantuan, humongous
  • Antonym Bounce: bounce a ball back and forth saying opposites. Ex: Big-small, up-down, in-out, around-through, sad-happy, excited-calm, relaxed-nervous, boring-interesting
  • Category Bounce: bounce a ball back and forth using a category. Ex: Dogs—Labrador, cocker spaniel, beagle, setter, retriever, poodle, German Sheppard
  • Multiples Bounce: (great for helping kids remember times tables) Ex: 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 – 15 – 18 – 21 – 24 – 27 – 30
  • “Buzz”: Bounce the ball while counting and say “Buzz” for every number that has a 7 or number that is a multiple of 7. (Great for kids learning number patterns and out-of-the-box thinking; some kids count on their fingers until they pick up the 7s pattern)

Jump rope games -- when kids learn the middle hop between jumps over the rope, both their reading and math improves.

  • Jump to 100: Challenge your child to jump rope 100 times without missing until they get tired. Keep trying it every morning until your child reaches 100, and then make a big fuss over them for meeting the goal.
  • Times Table Jump: most kids forget at least some of their times tables over the summer, and jumping to times tables is a fun way to review them and find out which ones to work on before school starts again—3s, 6s, 7s, and 8s in particular have a tendency to fade during the break.
  • Jump rope songs: Jumping and rhyming are great for our brains.

You'll find more games and helpful tips on Patricia's blog.

If you want to learn small tweaks in your routine that can make a huge difference for your kids, and maybe try out some brain boosting games, Trish gives parent workshops at elementary schools. For more information visit