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Chinese Jump Rope
Today, children all over the world play versions of Chinese Jump Rope. The game has been traced back to being played by children in 7th century China. The Chinese New Year and other traditional festivals include a lot of folk customs, performances, and competitions. Many of these celebratory traditions have been passed from generation to generation, so several ancient customs are still observed today.
Some children in English speaking countries used to call the game “Chinese garter” because they played with old garters as the ropes. You can easily make your own Chinese jump rope by buying a piece of elastic (about six to eight feet long, as long as it stretches easily) and tying the ends together in a slipknot. Another way to make a Chinese jump rope is to chain rubber bands together. Chinese jump roping is similar to playing cat’s cradle, but with your feet instead of your hands (and, it is played a lot faster).
Girls Playing Chinese Jump Rope
The game is played with an elastic band, or circular rope. Generally, there are at least three players, two to hold the rope and one to jump. The holders stand facing one another with the rope around their ankles. The holders should stand apart as far as needed to make the rope stretched taut. The jumper jumps over and into the rope in a series of movements without stopping or making a mistake. If the jumper wants more of a challenge, the rope can be moved higher up around the holders’ legs to create harder levels. You can also crisscross the rope, so it forms an x in the middle.
You begin playing by establishing a jump pattern to follow. The jumper must complete the pattern without making any mistakes. If the jumper succeeds, the rope is moved higher up, and the jumper moves to the next level. But, if the jumper makes a mistake, her turn is over. She can switch places with one of the holders, or get in line if there are more than three people playing.
Chinese Jump Ropes on Amazon
Common Jumping Moves
- Out: Jump so both feet land outside of the rope.
- In: Jump so both feet land inside of the rope.
- Side: Jump so one foot lands inside and one foot lands outside.
- On: Jump so both feet land on top of the rope.
The MISSISSIPPI Song & Moves
- M is In, so your feet are inside the rope.
- I is Out, so your feet are outside the rope.
- S is Side, so one foot is inside, the other outside.
- P is On, so feet land on the rope.
To play, sing M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, with the jumper making the right jumps.