An animation: Skipping games

Children have been skipping with ropes since the 1700s; and skipping with hoops since the 1500s. In many playgrounds today, skipping is still as popular as ever. Skipping games can be musical, lively, sociable, and sometimes competitive. Girls and boys may choose to play on their own, seeing how many ‘skips’ they can do without stumbling, or they may play with a long rope, inviting players in to skip while chanting a particular song or rhyme such as ‘banana split’.

Illustrated by pupils from Monteney Primary School, Sheffield.

Some rights reserved.  ©  British Library Board / British Library

Girl 1:

300 or 400 years ago children played skipping with hoops.

Girl 2:

About 100 years ago boys and girls both skipped, but then 50 years ago it was mainly girls that skipped.


Today lots of girls’ skip and a few boys skip as well.

Girl 3:

We sometimes like to skip to rhymes like.

All: [Singing]

Cinderella, dressed in yellow,
went upstairs to kiss her fella,
by mistake she kissed a snake,
and now she’s got a belly ache.

Girl 4:

Nowadays we don’t play French skipping, but our mums did, they skip with elastic around their ankles and then they did knees, with elastic around their knees.

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