When a new toddler joins your gym class, it is always a matter of finding out what the starting level of the child is, but especially to what extent the child knows and can indicate its own motoric limits. In the case of jumping from high surfaces, it is important to have this insight.
One child may skip the high cupboard very quickly, even though he/she is motorically capable of jumping off it. On the other hand, there are always toddlers in your class who overestimate themselves and happily jump from the highest climbing frames into the deep without fear.
To make sure your lesson is safe and challenging for everyone, a good build-up and variety in jumping from high surfaces is a must. How to do that, you can read below!
In order to get an idea of what each individual toddler is up to, jumping at different heights is a good idea. For example, make a climbing course in the form of a stream in which you build up the height. Start by jumping from a plank, then a head of a box, then a catching block and finally a high box. By going through this round with the children, you will soon get a good overview of the toddlers' level.
The landing in the “squat position” is important for the jumping from high surfaces. The knees are bent and the upper body remains upright. If a toddler jumps from too high a height, you will notice that it has not yet mastered the landing. It either falls on its buttocks, so its knees are bent too deeply, or it lands overstretched, with its legs completely straight. The latter can be very painful and dangerous, so should always be avoided!
A proper landing can be encouraged with additional small equipment. For example, put small ‘foot mats' on the landing mat that the children have to land on. Or place a hoop for them to jump into. Clamping a beanbag between the knees stimulates the toddler to keep the legs together in the jump and in the landing.
For children who have mastered the jumping from high surfaces well and are ready for some extra challenge. Then you can start to vary, for example in the jump itself. Allow the children to make a spread jump, squat jump or turn jump from the platform. Here you can make it extra difficult by stimulating the correct landing with small equipment.
You can also have the children jump from a moving object, for example a bench hanging in the rings.
Jumping from high surfaces exercises
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