Toddlers and young children have boundless amounts of energy and it’s often impossible for them to sit still for more than 5 minutes. However, once they are comfortable walking and standing on their own two feet, you can start encouraging them to do more things to improve their physical development.
Jumping is a great way for toddlers to have fun, strengthen their leg muscles and burn off some energy. In this article, let’s look at when toddlers can jump and how you can encourage them to learn this skill.
What age does a child jump with both feet?
As you know, all children are different and they all reach milestones at different times. On average, around half of children can jump with both feet off the ground when they are about 2 years old. This increases to 75% when they are about 27 months old. If your child can’t jump by this time, don’t worry, they should be able to do it by the time they are 3 years old. Once children reach 4 years old, they can probably jump across stepping stones and by 5, they might be able to jump with a rope.
Is jumping good for toddlers?
Jumping is a great way to improve a child’s balance and leg strength. It also promotes healthy bone growth, better fitness and how to judge distances better. Furthermore, it sets the foundation to go on to more advanced movements such as somersaults, forward rolls and into sports such as basketball, volleyball, racquet sports and soccer.
What are the signs your toddler is ready to start jumping?
Often you might just suddenly see your toddler jumping by themselves, but if not there are a couple of signs to tell you they are ready to learn this exciting new skill!
- Are they able to step over obstacles comfortably without falling over?
- Can they walk across a very soft surface easily, like a cushion or pillow?
How can you teach your toddler to jump?
Here are some useful activities and strategies to help your toddler learn how to jump.
Learning to jump
Make sure your toddler is looking forward or slightly upwards when they are jumping. They shouldn’t be looking down throughout the process. At the start of the jump, they should bend their knees and bring their arms behind them, as this acts as a spring and helps them push off. When they are airborne, your toddler should straighten their legs and bring their arms forward. When they land, they need to bend their knees as this absorbs the shock from the landing.
Here’s a good video demonstrating this:
- Try jumping like a bunny rabbit or frog. You can hold their hand and try jumping over small objects, puddles (they can put on some wellies and jump into them!) or jumping off the bottom step on a flight of stairs.
- Pop some bubbles. Blow some bubbles and let them jump up to pop them.
- Cut out shapes, letters or numbers and have them jump from one to another.
- Jump onto footprints.
Why does your toddler keep jumping?
Once a child has learnt a new skill, they often want to keep doing it. The same applies to jumping. As frustrating as it can be having a toddler jumping up and down all the time, it’s probably normal, especially if they are very active. Chances are they won’t do it as much when they’re bored of it. Having said that, if you think your child is particularly hyperactive (or has a sensory processing issue) and continuous jumping is just one part of a bigger picture, you can look at doing various activities to deal with it. Here are some great tips in dealing with a hyperactive child
Are trampolines safe for 2 year olds?
The advice from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is that children under the age of 6 should not use a trampoline. For toddlers and young children, their bones are still soft so they can easily pick up an injury, or worse still, break a bone somewhere if they land heavily when they’re jumping repeatedly.
On average, most children can hop on one foot when they are about 4 years old.