Monday, 26 March 2012

French skipping

Do any of you remember doing French skipping when you were young? Something reminded me of it a while ago and I want to introduce it to Sophie now that the weather is getting better.
I always remember collecting lots of elastic bands to make a decent size loop. My sister is six and a half years older than me so we really didn't play much together as I was growing up, so French skipping was a great game for me to play on my own - I would just attach the ends of the elastic loop around the open gates at home and have fun trying to perfect the "routine".

I can't remember it all now but a little research brought up some suggestions that seem familiar ...

How to play

Find two friends, or one friend and an inanimate object. One person jumps, the others have the elastic round their legs. Three levels of difficulty - low (ankle), medium (mid-calf) and high (knee).


‘Chocolate cake, when you bake, How many minutes will you take? One, two, three, four.’

On ONE: jump up and land with left foot outside the elastic loop and your right foot inside.
On TWO: jump up and land with both feet together inside the elastic loop.

On THREE: jump up and land with both feet outside the elastic loop.
On Four: jump up and land sideways to the elastic, with your left foot on top of the back elastic and your right foot ahead (in front) of the front elastic.

If the current player doesn't manage to do the correct jump their turn is over and play passes to one of the people inside the circle of elastic, who then tries to outdo the previous player.

Here are more of the rhymes:

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales Inside, outside, inside, on!’
You have to jump in a sequence. The first one is seven times, the second one is six times and so on.
  • Sevens - facing one end, with one foot inside the elastic and one outside, you jump sideways so that the other foot is inside, then back again (seven jumps in total). If you touch the elastic, you are out.
  • Sixes - facing one end, with one foot either side of the elastic (i.e. straddling the elastic). Jump and land with both feet inside the elastic. Six jumps in total (three in, three out). If you touch the elastic you are out.
  • Fives - facing sideways, stand on one side of the elastic with your feet together. Jump forwards onto the other side of the elastic. Then jump backwards to the original side. Five jumps in total. If you don't end each jump with both feet firmly on the piece of elastic you are out.
  • Fours - facing sideways, one foot under the elastic and one standing on top of the elastic. Jump to the other side, landing with one foot under the elastic and one on top.
  • Three and Two are lost in time although I'm sure you can make them up as you go along!
  • One - was twisting your legs around the elastic and then jumping high, so that the elastic had time to snap back into place, and landing with one foot on each piece of elastic.
I would love to hear if anyone can remember any more rhymes/actions for French skipping that I can teach Sophie ...

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