As you may know by now, kids learn by observing and then doing. So, because preschoolers have lots of energy and appetite for fun and activating games, here are some ideas on how to encourage your 4-year-old to develop his jumping skills while also getting a daily dose of exercise and playing alongside you:
• Imitate animals and make it a game that also encourages vocabulary acquisition and cognitive skills. You can use pictures of animals and model their movements. Also, help your son respond the next questions, or similar ones.
- How does frogs move? And do they do sounds? Can you jump like a frog?
- How do rabbits move? Can you jump like a rabbit?
- Can you jump like a giant?
- Can you jump forwards? And backwards?
• Play some upbeat music and dance to its beat. You can encourage your little one to jump in place while coordinating his arms to the rhythm of the song.
• When jumping with your child, model the following things:
- Prepare to take-off by bending the knees.
- Start the movement by swinging your arms back and then forwards to gain impulse.
- Extend your feet and legs when you take-off to push against the ground.
- Maintain balance when landing.
Engage in conversation afterwards and discover together which movements your son finds easy, funny, etc., and how he would describe what jumping is.