Creating Our Own Jump Rope!

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In browsing the internet for plans, I came across a STEAM challenge for PE:

Blowing Off S.T.E.A.M. in Physical Education: Make Your Own Jump Rope

It looked really fun, so we borrowed the idea.  I tweaked it a little bit to make sense for them, here is how it went:

We challenged the kids to practice jump roping for the next thirty days in a row.  The only problem is that we don’t have a rope and need to build one from scratch!  They could gather any material (except for an actual jump rope!) from around the house to use.  We asked them to come up with an amount of time that seemed reasonable to gather the items.  They decided that ten minutes sounded good! We told them to think about the length, weight, and feel of the handles.

C came back with a handful of elastics while G returned with a lot of paper, pillow stuffing, and tape.  Her idea was to roll up all of the paper and attach each piece with tape.  She worked hard at attaching the rolled papers, but wasn’t having much success.  She realized that this would create a straight line of paper with no flexibility.  She then took the elastics and tried putting them together.  It was cool because she just learned how to make elastic bracelets, so she used the same method.  We quickly realized that we didn’t have nearly enough elastics to make a rope big enough!  C was pretty checked out at this point… it didn’t really hold his attention. Looking back, if we had given him specific materials and just told him to build on his own, we think it would have been better for him.  G was really into it though!  She remained optimistic as we thought of other things we could use.


Her new thought: fabric!! Luckily, J has an entire closet of fabric, so G grabbed a big bag of scraps and thought it out.  (We asked her what she might suggest to families that do not have a big closet of fabric, and she thought they could use old clothes or towels) Initially, she wanted to glue them together, but realized that tying them was a better idea.  She picked flexible fabric, tied it together, and used elastics to attach pillow filling for comfortable handles.  She tried her rope, and realized it wasn’t heavy enough.  She picked more fabric, this one was thicker, and she attached it to the middle.  In the end, the rope worked perfectly, and she had fun trying it out! It was great to see her brainstorm and problem solve.  It was also nice to see her continue to work after failing on her first attempts! 

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