At one time or another, we have overheard someone say, “I wish I had the energy of a child.” I am usually the one being overheard.
Children, particularly toddlers, seem to have an abundant supply of energy, which never lets up. Oh, to be young again!
As soon as children learn to walk, or ‘toddle’ it seems they flip an internal switch to full throttle. They are like a balloon that you let go without tying it off. They are everywhere all at once.
And children will be children. Soon they master walking, then running, climbing, and jumping. But is it normal for a toddler not to engage in one of these activities? In particular, what if your toddler won’t jump? Should you be concerned?
Let’s take another peek inside ‘toddler-hood’ and look at issues with a toddler who won’t jump.
What age will toddlers start jumping?
Have you ever seen a space shuttle or other orbit bound vehicle launching? They accomplish their goal in ‘stages.’ The first stage is all about expending enormous amounts of energy to get moving in the right direction. And as each stage is used, it takes less and less energy and effort to reach the goal.
Your toddler is no different. Everything they do is in stages. For example:
- Pushing, pulling, squatting 12 to 18 months
- Climbing 12 to 24 months
- Running 18 to 24 months
- Simple speech patterns 18 to 24 months
- Jumping 24 to 36 months
Notice a pattern. At 12 months, they are in their initial stage where they use up tons of energy learning the mechanics of the basic movement. As they begin to master these movements, they try new activities as they get older.
Also, look at jumping on the list. Your toddler should begin to jump off of small structures at 24 to 36 months. Jumping, or becoming confident enough to jump doesn’t begin until around the two-year mark.
If your ‘space vehicle’ won’t jump and he is only 15 months old, it isn’t time for the stage to ignite. So relax.
Now we know toddlers begin to jump between two or three-years-old. They should be jumping off of small items or from a standing position. Both skills require some bi-lateral moves. They use both sides or their body to do something different.
Here is how you can help them:
- Take them ‘curb hopping.’ Hold the child’s hand, stand next to them on the curb, count”one, two three!” Then jump off the curb together.
- Teach them ‘leap-frogging.’ Show them how to squat and then throw their arms up as they jump, like a frog.
These are some very simple and very entertaining activities which promote jumping. And it can be used as part of daily activity. “Mommy, let’s go curb-frogging!”
Activities like these you will both cherish for a lifetime.
Since the internet has become popular, some parents don’t realize what a great resource tool it is. There are so many ways to teach a child with a computer.
Do a quick search for ‘teaching children to jump,’ or ‘toddler jumping videos.’ There are hundreds, if not thousands, of videos available. And a video is a great babysitter.
Showing the child video of other children jumping might just start their jumping engine. And when it does, look out!
As they watch videos and learn about jumping now would be a good time to toddler-jump-proof the house. After watching their jumping habits for a few days, you’ll know where to begin. Hopefully, you don’t have a little ‘Tarzan’ on your hands!
Videos for Mom and Dad
Maybe as jumping videos are entertaining your child, you could watch a few too. I’m sure you already know how to jump, just do another search for parenting resources on toddlers jumping.
There may be videos. There may be websites or blogs devoted to the whole jumping issue. You can also search for old episodes of programs such as Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. These are some excellent teaching tools.
Also, take every chance you can to build your toddler’s confidence. He or she might not be jumping because they aren’t confident enough. Parents play a huge role in building a child’s confidence levels. If they believe it, they can do it.
Try Using a Jumper
A jumper is a device in which the child sits in a swing type of seat safely buckled in. Most baby jumpers resemble the large bungee jumping swings you see at amusement parks.
These ‘jumpers’ allow the child to experience what it is like to jump. The only movement is provided fully by the child. They quickly learn if they ‘jump’ it is fun. The jumper responds with a bobbing up and down motion.
Some jumpers look a lot like the typical baby swing. Those small A-frame swings designed for little kids. They operate by a hand crank where you ‘wind-up’ the internal spring. The child then enjoys a steady swinging motion, often resulting in sleep.
The jumper is a bit different. The more the child moves, or jumps, the more jumping sensation they get. These are great for teaching them the basics of jumping and what to expect when they do.
Toddler jumpers and swings can be found at most of your big-box retail stores. They are usually located where the car seats are displayed.
With all of the jumping devices, videos, and parent intervention, who knows? You may be raising a future Olympic Gold Medal Broad Jumper!
And then you can tell the reporters, “We thought he would never start jumping as a toddler!”
Toddler jumping is one of those activities they do when they are ready. Don’t worry if your toddler won’t jump.
There will come a day when you remember being concerned about the lack of jumping. Then you can easily, LOL!
Just keep giving lots of love and affection!