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Chinese Jump Rope

Updated on February 22, 2008

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.

Girls Doing Chinese Jump Rope


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting to know, eiclpsaely since I assumed that Hubpages was going down the proverbial plughole after Panda.I haven't really written there, although I have been a member for a couple of years. Maybe it's time to diversify, and if I don't earn a lot there, I ought to at least be able to write something that will help give me extra traffic on my Squidoo lenses.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Johnathan.I'm sorry, but I don t think your solution stikcs?Why?What happens if I'm not logged in the first time when I access the website or I delete my cookies often?The very first visit before i log in will be counted so i will have at least 30 visits a month only from me.What do you think?Thank you for the article anyway and looking forward your answer!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      9 years ago from Seattle

      Really James? It's interesting how different cultures and different regions have other names for the same things.

    • James Mark profile image

      James Mark 

      9 years ago from York, England

      How strange! In the UK we call this French skipping!

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      11 years ago

      I used to play Chinese garter when I was a kid. We played lots of different variations. My favorite is the one where we don't tie the ends of the garter together but just hold it up and jump over it. First you jump the garter at floor level, then knee level, waist level, shoulder level, head level then finally high up over the head level. :-D

      I could jump really high - my classmates used to stand on chairs and hold the garter up as high as they could over their heads and I'd still be able to "jump over" it. (You sort of have to turn your back to the garter as you jump and let a leg hook it down so your other leg can get over. :-D)


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