How to play Jump the River, a skills building game for indoors or out.

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 is a great skills builder to help develop kids' jumping skills. The Game of the Week is Jump the River!

Group Size:  Any Size

Age Group:   Pre K- Grade 2
Length of Activity:   Less than 10 minutes
Developmental Goal:   To develop gross motor skills and coordination
Equipment:  Two jump ropes or tape or chalk on the ground

Before You Start: 

  • You can also use hula hoops or tape lines on the floor.
  • To assist children in learning the fundamentals of jumping, have children practice by taking off on two feet and by swinging their arms forward when they jump.

Set Up: 

Place an object or two lines of tape or jump rope on the ground/floor for players to jump over.

How to Play: 

  • Explain to the children that they are taking a walk in the woods and may need to cross a stream or river. Ask children to walk throughout the space and when they come to a river (rope, hoop, or tape line on floor) they need to jump over the river without getting their feet wet. Children should work independently of their classmates during this activity.
  • When landing, children should land on two feet spreading their feet about shoulder width apart so they have a wide base of support when they land. After landing, children should proceed to and jump over the next river. Emphasis should be placed on landing on both feet at the same time without falling over.


  • Ask children to draw or paint their own rivers on large sheets of paper. Make sure they draw fish, trees, and other objects in and alongside their river. Tape children's drawings to the floor and pretend that the class is going on a trip. When children reach the different rivers scattered throughout the room they must swing their arms and jump over the river, landing on the other side without falling over.
  • Teachers may also want to integrate this idea with a book they read to children about rivers or ways people travel.
  • Teach and practice different jumping skills, such as jumping off of one foot. Or jumping and landing onto one foot or another.
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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