Learning by doing is often said to be the best way to develop new skills. So encouraging your child to get hands on is a great idea. Why not learn how to make a skipping rope?
This series of blog posts shares International Messy Play Activities from different countries around the world to develop your child’s understanding of other cultures.
These fun activities also allow kids to express their creativity and build self-confidence. There are seven blogs in the series that are all designed to nurture child development, so be sure to check them all out in the Activities for Kids section.
Try making this homemade skipping rope using recycled plastic bags with your child, it’s great for slightly older kids between 7 and 11 years old, it teaches them patience as the directions must be followed precisely in order to create a useable, strong skipping rope!
How can you make a homemade skipping rope?
This idea is from the UK and is a great way to teach your kids about recycling. By using old plastic bags you can make a recycled skipping rope which your child can use for outdoor games. It’s a fun activity and helps teach them about recycling and reusing every day materials.
Be warned, once your child has a skipping rope they will definitely get hot and sweaty kicking up the dirt trying to learn to skip with it! So it will encourage them to get active doing a physical activity, which is always a good thing (and we’ve got some tips on how to get sweaty clothes clean again at the bottom of this blog post.)
There’s lots to learn through making a DIY skipping rope
This activity will challenge your child to develop physical skills. From cutting and being patient when plaiting the plastic bags to learning to skip with the finished rope, there’s plenty of action with this project. And if they get tired of all the skipping they can stretch their imaginations using the rope as a prop in dressing up games.
Ingredients: Everything you need for plastic bag crafts for kids
Remember, there’s no point in making a homemade skipping rope if you aren’t going to use it to skip. So the most important ingredient for this project is a child who wants to skip or learn to skip and has plenty of persistence to keep trying! Next you need:
- Lots of plastic bags – between 10 and 15 depending on how long you want your rope to be
- A pair of scissors (an adult will need to supervise a child using these!)
- Some strong tape – carpet tape or parcel tape is best
- A chair to use while you’re plaiting the strips together
- That’s it!
The recipe: How to make a skipping rope
Firstly you need to cut the plastic bags into rectangles
- Take each plastic bag, cut it open down one side and cut off the bottom and handles so it opens out into a large rectangular shape
- You’ll need to make between 10 and 15 rectangles – depending on how long you want the rope and how big the bags are!
Next you need to create 12 strips.
- Take each rectangle and cut it up into strips about 4cm wide
- Knot 4 strips together (end to end) to make one long thin strip (it needs to be long enough to skip, so you might need more than four strips tied together for older kids)
- Repeat this to make 12 long thin strips
Now it’s time to plait your strips.
- Take six of the 12 strips and knot them all together at one end. Tape the knotted end to the top of a chair. Now separate all six into pairs so you have three double pairs of strips to plait and once the strips are all plaited, tie a knot at the bottom to stop them unravelling
- Now you need to do this again with the other six remaining strips
- When you have two plaits, twist them together to form one rope. Tie a knot at each end
Now for the handles.
- Use the tape to wrap around each knotted end of the rope to create “handles”.
That’s it, your DIY skipping rope is complete! The next step is to sit back and watch as your child skips and has fun. It’s brilliant exercise for them and they’ve learnt some great skills in the process.
Don’t worry if all that skipping has left your little one’s clothes a bit sweaty. Sweat stains are easily removed. Just dampen and apply Persil directly onto the stain, then leave overnight, rinse thoroughly and then add to your normal wash with Persil. Before cleaning the stain, check the label for care details of the stained garment, and always conduct a test on a hidden area of fabric.
There are lots more stain removal tips you can check out here.
Have you got any ideas for recycling plastic bags crafts?
What other ideas have you got for recycling household items into toys and games for the kids? Share your story with us here in a comment.