Hopping, how do you teach toddlers in kindergarten lessons?
A struggle for (almost) every kindergarten teacher: teaching children to skip. Can this be taught? And does every child skip? Research has shown that purposefully teaching hopping is not very effective. The majority of pre-schoolers learn it ‘naturally’. Of course, well-constructed movement classes help to master the basic motor skills. Find out more in this article!
The movement skipping (a way of moving forward with small jumps) is actually a combination of the movements “skipping” and “connecting”. If the toddler is familiar with these two basic motor skills, skipping follows naturally to a certain extent. Of course, every child is different. Some pre-schoolers will first hop and then ‘use’ this movement to learn to hop. And the other toddler will learn the opposite way. First they succeed in hopscotching, then in skipping. The majority of pre-schoolers, however, find the ‘connecting pass’ the easiest of the three.
Now we will first tell you a bit more about hopscotch and the connecting pass. What does the movement look like, and what kind of exercises can you offer toddlers to get the hang of hopscotch and the connecting pass?
Hopping means covering a distance by jumping on one leg. The other leg is raised. The arms are often stretched out sideways to keep balance during the exercise. Whereas one toddler will hopscotch away on his own, another will find it difficult to balance on one leg, let alone jump on it. The following balance exercises teach the toddler to stand on one leg, which is a prerequisite for the final hopscotch.
The connecting pass is also called a chassée in gymnastics. With the bridging pass, you always hold the same leg in front and kick the front leg away, as it were, with the back leg. You can practice this with your left leg as well as your right leg. The video below shows you what the connecting pass looks like. If you see how the movement goes, then you now know that it is actually a kind of half/unfinished hop!
The key word for learning movements such as hopping or skipping is: repeat.
Fortunately, you can practise this kind of movement any time and anywhere. In your gym class, in the introduction, in the lesson core and in your conclusion, but also at home, while playing outside, and at school!
Small material to learn hopping
The use of small materials in methodical exercises stimulates the toddler to learn motoric movements. Offering exercises in a variety of ways encourages the child to be versatile. Use hoops, cones, blocks, strings and pawns to make your lessons fun and challenging!
Exercises for hopping
You will also get access to the Toddler Gym Exercises Bundle: more than 500 creative exercises on video that you can use to teach various basic forms of movement in the gym. Even when you have little material at your disposal.
Also take a look on our YouTube Channel for more inspiration!