Forget flash cards! Tackling vocabulary homework is a lot more fun with this bouncy outdoor activity.

child jumping rope
Credit: Photograph by Kinzie & Riehm

Kids in the elementary grades almost always have spelling lists to memorize and energy to burn. That's why this game is such a brilliant idea. Next time your child comes home with a list to learn, head for the driveway or sidewalk and get a jump on it.

Get Set

The caller (who might be a parent, a classmate, or an older sibling) holds the spelling list and sidewalk chalk. The jumper stands on a paved surface with a jump rope.


The caller reads aloud a word from the list. The jumper spells it aloud, skipping rope once for each letter. (It's fine to stop between hops to recall the next letter.)

If the jumper spells and skips correctly: She writes the word on the ground with chalk. The caller moves on to another word on the list.

If the jumper misspells the word or misses a jump: The caller writes the correct spelling on the pavement. The jumper reads the letters out loud while skipping rope. She then spells it again with her back turned to the written word.

The game ends when all the words have been written on the pavement and spelled aloud correctly.

To play with two or more jumpers: When a jumper spells her word correctly, her turn ends, and it's the next player's turn.

Originally published in the May 2013 issue of FamilyFun

Family Fun