A game for agile skippers. In the simplest group version of this game, two players hold the ends of a 10- to 12-foot rope and turn it as the other players jump, one at a time. The rope turners start by swinging the rope away from the jumper.
Then, making a full circle that will pass over the jumper’s head, they establish an easy rhythm, with the rope just grazing the ground each turn.
As others in the group look on, each jumper in turn stands just outside of the whirling rope and steps in as it is about to hit the ground. Then the jumper hops over the rope with both feet as many times as possible. The players traditionally chant a counting rhyme, such as “One, two, buckle my shoe, ” to help keep track of the jumps. When the jumper misses, the turners reestablish the rhythm, and another jumper steps in. Jumpers relieve the turners to give them a chance.
Jump rope variations include hopping on one foot, alternately picking up and setting down a stone every turn, and turning the rope so fast that it goes under the jumper twice each jump. In salt and pepper, the rope alternates between going slow and fast. In running through, each player in turn steps in, jumps once, and then runs out without breaking the rhythm. Next time, each player jumps twice. The number of jumps progresses until, as jumpers miss, there is only one left. Infollow the leader, each player must repeat the first player’s actions as well as get in and out of the rope swings.