During Little Stars at Witham and South Woodham Ferrers this week our wonderful toddlers were working hard on there jumps. As we get older i think we forgot how hard to was for us to learn to walk, jump and balance as a small child and how fearless we were as we fell, over and over again until that magical day when we let go of the sofa and walked!
The Mechanics of a Jump.
A basic sauté or vertical jump uses a lot of muscles working together to lift you of the floor into the air. You use your Quads, hamstrings, glutes and calfs as well as core for stability and balance.
How We Teach A Jump.
In our classes we focus heavily on high knees and tiptoes to develop strength in there legs specifically the quads and calfs. Our Frog dance is specifically designed to teach a child how to jump, using there plié to bend deeply before launching our selves up onto our tiptoes and later into the air to jump. We also bend down to the floor into a frog squat to give them extra power to launch themselves into the air.
Most dancers who start with us from 2 years old will not be able to jump straight away it takes time to build up there strength and understanding of how to use there body to jump.
How You Can Help Your Child Learn To Jump At Home.
In the same way that the more they walked round the room the stronger and faster they got until you were chasing them round there room! Its the same with jumps practise makes perfect!
A great way to practise is to use songs like ‘monkeys jumping on the bed’ to let them jump on the sofa or bed the springs in the bed/ sofa will assist them until they have enough strength to jump on there own.
You could then progress to jumping off the curb or low steps or walls. i’m sure we all have memories of hold a parents hand as we walked along a wall before jumping off it at the end. All these can help increase strength as well as confidence.