Jumping into PT!

Jumping is a big skill to learn for little ones! There are different skills of jumping ranging from jumping and landing on two feet to jumping on one foot. The earliest jumping skill typically develops between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old, whereas the latter one develop closer to 4-5 years old. Hopscotch jumping and jumping jacks are other ways of jumping that are higher-level skills and typically start around 4-5 years of age.

In order to learn to jump, a child needs to have strength, power and balance. A child needs to be able to squat, go up on toes, leave the ground and land with two feet at the same. When first learning the skill, a child will start bouncing on their feet and look more like bending their knees without leaving the ground. After that, they may start leaving the ground one foot at a time. If a child is having difficulty performing this skill, physical therapists can help break the skill down into smaller skills. We will work on squatting to pick up toys multiple times, squatting while engaged in a toy or game, reaching up on toes, balance beam walking, and other activities to get sensory input to the feet.

The later jumping skills including jumping jacks and hopscotch, as well as higher level skills such as balancing, single leg stance, endurance, rhythm and bilateral coordination. These skills are used with school aged children and are important to reach in order for children to play with their peers and participate in P.E. or recess. There are so many fun ways to learn how to jump!

If your child is having difficulty performing these skills, reach out to a pediatric physical therapist!

Whitney Castle, PT, DPT