How to play Cat and Mouse, a jump rope skills builder that’s good for indoor recess too.

The Game of the Month is Jump Rope! This month we're sharing fun jump rope games that can be played indoors or outside. This week's game allows players to practice jumping into and out of a swinging rope. The Game of the Week is Cat and Mouse!

Group Size:  4 or more 

Age Group:   Grade 3+
Length of Activity:   Less than 10 minutes
Developmental Goal:   To develop eye-foot coordination
Equipment:  One long jump rope

Before You Start: 

  • Review how to safely jump into a spinning jump rope.
  • Review how to tag softly–like a butterfly–on the shoulds, upper arms or back.
  • Pick two players to turn the rope.
  • Pick one person to begin as the cat and one person to begin as the mouse. Everyone else remains in line and waits for their turn.
  • Review how players will rotate roles. A person many rotate roles in the following order: cat, mouse, rope turner, roper turner, in line.
  • Demonstrated how to play.

Set Up: 

  • Pick a space that will allow a large jump rope to spin safely, room for player to run around the rope and a nearby line.

How to Play: 

  • Players will travel in a figure eight, jumping into the rope one time, then around the turner, back into the rope one time and around the other turner.
  • The mouse begins.
  • Once the mouse has jumped out of the rope around the first turner, the cat may jump.
  • The object of the game is for the mouse to not be tagged and for the cat to tag the mouse.
  • If the cat tags the mouse, everybody rotates.
  • If the mouse misses a jump, everybody rotates.
  • If the cat misses a jump, everybody rotates


  • Allow the cat and mouse to run through the rope instead of jumping once.
  • Require the cat and mouse to jump two times (or more) before running out of the rope.


Find more new and exciting games in our games library!

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks offers professional development programs that will teach your staff to use recess and playtime to improve health and support learning. Curious to learn more? Submit the Training Assessment form and a local Playworks representative will respond directly.


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