Jump ropes

Recently, the kids have been singing:

Dressed in yella
Went upstars to kiss a fella
Made a mistake
Kissed a snake
How many doctors did it take?

I think I taught this rhyme to Fritz years ago, and he must have pulled it from the deep recesses of his memory. In my neck of the woods growing up, it was a jump rope rhyme, usually sung by the two girls holding the ends of a long rope while the girl or two in the middle tried to break the record and jump to the highest count.

The only times I remember jumping rope during recess were the two years I attended a Catholic school in Canton, Ohio – second and third grade. There was no playground. The little kids (like me) played in a concrete courtyard, and the older kids played on the asphalt parking lot. There were balls and jump ropes, and that’s it. No slides, no swings, no basketball hoops. We were highly encouraged to expend vast amounts of energy by jumping rope (mostly by the girls) or running in some sort of game with balls (mostly by the boys). I don’t remember feeling deprived or bored. I also don’t remember any public school I attended having jump ropes. They all had playgrounds.

Bill went to Catholic schools from 1st through 12th grades. Same deal: jump ropes or balls on an asphalt parking lot for recess. But he says they took the ball away because the boys were getting too sweaty. Yeah.

Fondly recalling those jump rope days and inspired by my kids Cinderella chanting, I went online and found these playground jump ropes just like the ones from those Catholic school days, but with lighter beads. I bought them as stockings stuffers – one for each of my 4 older kids. I also bought a “Double Dutch” set, so my kids can play together.

I’ve got an asphalt alley behind my house. Next up: plaid jumpers and navy slacks, and SMARTY PANTS will have a professional air.

Does anybody recall any jump rope rhymes from their childhood? I’d like to have a full repertoire to teach the kids.

9 thoughts on “Jump ropes

  1. I too went to Catholic schools from 1970-1982. My elementary school (1st-8th) grade had no playground. We had the church’s asphalt parking lot. We would play jumprope, chinese jumprope, jacks, etc.
    Somewhere along the way I bought my girls a book of jumprope songs. I think it was put out by Klutz

  2. Go to the library–they have whole BOOKS of them!

    I had one flash through my head the other day:
    Lemon, lime
    Be on time
    School bells ring at a quarter to nine.
    (repeat ad nauseum)

    Here’s another one:
    Peppermint stick
    Make me sick
    Here comes the teacher with arithmetic!
    1 and 1’s 2
    2 and 2’s 4
    Now it’s time for spel-ling!
    Spell cat–CAT
    Spell rat–RAT
    Now it’s time for Geography
    Little George Washington ran around the
    COOOOOOOOOOOOOORNER (run out of the rope and around a turner and jump back in)
    Stole a cherry pie
    How many cherries were in that pie?
    (Now you count until the person misses)

  3. I don’t remember any, but I do remember seeing this book in a catalog. It looked like fun.

  4. Sea shells. cockle bells
    Evey,Ivey over
    My dog’s name is Rover.
    He died last October.
    January, February, March…

    You should probably find those hand clapping game thingies, ya know?

  5. I’ll try to dig around in my brain and see if I can uncover any of those. What memories you’ve stirred up!!! I went to public school in a small town and the sixth grade was in a building all to itself. We didn’t have a playground but had the best time playing kickball and jumprope and I remember on rainy days playing jacks on the huge porch that wrapped around the building! On those days the teachers brought out all kinds of board games and there was a section for chalk art on that porch too.
    Sixth grade – I can’t imagine sixth graders now doing things like that – they’ve grown up too fast and miss so much.

  6. Barb, yes, we’ll have to have a hand clap party when I come down in April. And I’ll bring the jump ropes.

    Deanna, yes, it’s sad to think that 6th graders wouldn’t do that stuff any more. Innocent fun.

  7. The Klutz book reference in a previous comment is a good one (Anna Banana). I have been know to join in, as jump roping is a KILLER workout.

  8. I had the Anna-Banana book as a kid. It’s full of rhymes. I too went to Catholic school. For lower school in NYC, we would play at a Central park playground for recess. Jumping rope was just for PE, but I would also do it on th edriveway at home.

  9. Jump Rope for stocking stuffer, GREAT IDEA! I found my son trying to jump rope with the dog leash, and I couldn’t figure where he got the idea as nobody has ever shown him.
    I’ll have to check out that store.

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