Long Rope Games

skipping in schools

Over the centuries, hundreds of skipping games and rhymes have been made up, handed down, passed around, modified and updated by children. They are fantastic fun and are surprisingly challenging. There as many regional variations of rhymes and games as there are skipping games themselves. The number of participants varies from game to game but all games need observant and competent rope turners. A little practice at simply turning the ropes with each other would be time well spent.

You will need the correct rope. There are two types of long ropes available from skip-hop that are suitable for these skipping games. For one, two or three skippers in one rope, we suggest that you use one of the ropes in our double dutch speed skipping rope set. For any games involving four or more skippers at a time, we suggest our 7.5m Long Rope.

Under the Moon

We have been using this move in workshops since day one. It’s the perfect move for children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 to try (three to five year old children). It helps alleviate any fear of the rope, develops timing and an understanding of when to run and when to stay put, and is simple but very exciting (as even adults will attest).

Skippers line up at right angles to the long rope and turners, far enough away to not get hit, of course, but close enough to minimise the distance needed to run under it. The long rope needs to be turned in a direction which means the skippers are running with the long rope, not against it. To check this, if the turners stand with their arms out straight and parallel to the floor and are both pointing in the skippers’ direction, if their arms move down towards the floor to begin the turning process, this will send the long rope in the correct direction ie, away from the skippers towards the floor, not away from the skippers towards the sky which is the result of moving the arms up. Once the long rope is in motion, the skipper runs under the long rope and out the other side and stops when they are far enough away not to get hit.

Under the Moon – Over the Stars

This game is divided into two parts:

The first part is Under the Moon (see above) Over the Stars – To complete the skip, the skipper runs back at the long rope and tries to jump it, having run under the long rope already. As the long rope is still travelling in the same direction and hasn’t stopped since the skipper went underneath it, timing of the run is even more essential than before as the skipper is running at the long rope. The best point at which to begin the return is when the long rope is level with the skipper’s nose and on its way up.

Figure of 8 or Keep the Pot Boiling

This has to be one of the most popular of all long rope games. We have used this in so many ways during workshops, as part of a team building exercise in primary schools, in sports training to develop timing and hand-eye coordination (Surrey Netball, Leinster Rugby, London Academicals Hockey and many more) and just as a pure adrenaline rush.

The idea is to keep a continuous flow of skippers doing one jump of the rope without anyone missing a turn of the rope. All the skippers from one end run and jump, then it begins again from the other end without missing a beat. If someone misses their turn or runs out the wrong side, the game stops and it starts again. To make it extra exciting, if a skipper misses a turn or runs out the wrong side, that skipper is eliminated until there are only two skippers left chasing each other round.

skip-hop figure of eight diagram
skip-hop figure of eight for long rope games


One person enters the ropes and holds their hands out in front of them so the next person can run in and hold hands with them. A turner shouts “break” and then next person runs in. When the skippers inside the rope hear “break”, they let go of one pair of hands allowing the third skipper to join them and hold hands, forming a ring. The turner shouts “break”, and the next skipper runs in and joins the circle, and so on. The idea is to see how many skippers can join hands in the middle and jump the rope. The name “skydiver” comes from the image of three or more skydivers floating in the air holding hands in a circle.


This is simple – how many skippers can you get in one rope in single file without anyone making a mistake. The rope turners should have spare rope wrapped around the hand that isn’t turning the rope so that more rope can be let out as the line grows in numbers. The number of people inside the rope can easily be doubled by having two lines of skippers next to each other.

Chase the Fox

The route taken by the Fox is the same as a “Figure of Eight” so it is worth having that route in your head before starting the game. The Fox runs under the rope and out the other side on the first leg of the “eight” and the other players follow. The Fox returns, avoiding the rope as before, with the players following. They then repeat but with the the Fox jumping the rope once. On the way back through they jump the rope twice, then three times, then four etc. If a player makes a mistake, a rope turner takes over where the player left off. If the Fox makes a mistake, a new player takes over and the games starts from the beginning.

skip-hop’s Copy the Fox

Line up your skippers ready to enter the rope. The first skipper enters the rope and chooses a step. After exiting the rope, the other skippers jump in and copy the move then exit the rope. The second skipper then enters the rope and does two moves linked together. Once the second skipper has exited, the other skippers enter and try to copy the routine. The third enters and links three moves together, the others have to copy the routine, and so on. Just trying to remember the routines is hard enough, let alone performing them inside the rope.

Caught in the Net

Line up your skippers ready to enter the rope. The first skipper enters the rope and chooses a step. After exiting the rope, the other skippers jump in and copy the move then exit the rope. The second skipper then enters the rope and does two moves linked together. Once the second skipper has exited, the other skippers enter and try to copy the routine. The third enters and links three moves together, the others have to copy the routine, and so on. Just trying to remember the routines is hard enough, let alone performing them inside the rope.
We come, we come, we come, We come, We are the fishermen. We come out a fishing, oh! We come out a fishing, oh! Haul the fish in catch them so!

Up and Down

Competent turners are required for this game. Two turners have a 7.5m long rope and one starts his turn of the rope and as soon as the rope is at its highest point of the turn, the other turner begins turning their end. The result is that half of the rope is in the air while the other half is hitting the ground. Two skippers enter the rope, one at one end and one at the other. Once rhythm is established, skippers should try touching the ground when their half of the rope is in the air. The effect is amazing. It’s like pistons pumping up and down.


This is a long rope game where one of the turners chooses a colour and keeps it a secret. As a skipper enters the ropes and jumps, they shout out a colour. If it is the right colour, the skipper becomes the turner and the turner becomes a skipper. If the skipper guesses incorrectly, they have another guess while jumping the rope and so on. This game can be modified to anything such as food, countries, football teams. Use your imagination.

Baking Bread

This is one of the skipping games that requires a fast hand and real concentration. A skipper enters a long rope with an object. This can be a cuddly toy, a pebble, almost anything within reason. When the skipper enters the rope, they place it on the floor and immediately exit the rope. At this point, the turners may have to raise the rope a little so that it doesn’t come into contact with the object. Another skipper enters the rope and has to jump at least once before placing it back on the ground and exiting the rope.

Rock the Baby

The rope is rocked from side to side without any complete turns of the rope being done. A skipper enters the rope and jumps the rope at least twice and then exits. The next turner enters but the rope is raised off the ground a little. Each time a skipper enters, the rope is raised a little more until a skipper misses.

High Low Dolly Pepper

Turners shout out the commands of what to do to the skippers who have to perform each one in turn: “high” means the rope is going to be raised off the ground, “low” means it will be lowered back down, “dolly” means do a fancy footwork move and “pepper” means go as fast as you can.

High Low

This is one of the skipping games that is great fun and a real challenge for both skippers and turners. It has a chant which goes: Charlie over the water, Charlie over the sea, Charlie caught a blackbird, But he can’t me! Turners sing the rhyme and the skipper enters. When they have sung the word “me”, the rope is raised above the skipper’s head and the skipper crouches down as low as possible. The turners repeat the rhyme and when it comes to the word “me” again, they drop the rope down to normal turning position and skipper has to stand and jump the rope.

skip-hop’s Stop the Clock

A great game and with skills so dependent on timing it’s highly relevant that it has a clock-based theme! As with so many skip-hop skipping games, there is a chant which describes and instructs the skipper to do various actions. The turners shout out the hours of the day, each of which has a corresponding action for the skipper:

One o’clock (enter, jump once, exit rope)
Two o’clock (enter, jump twice, exit rope)
Three o’clock (enter jump three times)
Four o’clock (jump four times)
Five o’clock (jump five times)
Six o’clock (high waters, jump six times)
Seven o’clock (low waters, jump seven times)
Eight o’clock (hop eight times – single bounce)
Nine o’clock (hop nine times with one eye closed – single bounce)
Ten o’clock (jump ten times with both eyes closed – single bounce)
Eleven o’clock (jump eleven times with feet crossed one way)
Twelve o’clock (jump twelve times with alternating crossed feet)

Of course the clock stops if a skipper makes a mistake.
 “High Waters, Low Waters” is where the turners hold the rope taut and the skipper jumps over the rope. For “Low Waters” the rope is held just off the ground. For “High Waters” the rope is held as high as the turners feel is reasonable.

The great thing about skip-hop’s skipping game ‘stop the clock’ is that the game can involve choosing the skipping skills that correspond with each time. These skills can be chosen by the skippers themselves to make it fun, interactive and can be made more difficult as skippers skills increase or to modify for ages and abilities. skip-hop’s ‘stop the clock’ is also good for a mixed ability group as the turners can choose the time and skill to suit different skippers.

Have Fun – Keep Skipping
The skip-hop Team

Learn More. Move More. Grow Together.

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