7 Classic Jump Rope Songs

Susie McGee
Contributor: Amy Finley
Kids play jump rope

Kids love singing jump rope songs while they jump the afternoon away! Classic songs and chants add a fun element to this popular activity. Singing jump rope songs can help kids keep their rhythm while they jump.

Fun Jump Rope Songs for Kids

When it comes to workouts for kids, it's hard to beat jump rope exercise. In addition to its fitness and health benefits, jumping or skipping rope has always been a fun way to spend an afternoon, either alone or with friends. Jumping rope has been around for many years, and using songs or chants may date back to the 17th century. Jump rope songs gained incredible popularity in the US during the 1940s and 1950s and have been passed down from one generation to the next. In fact, chances are your grandchildren will be singing a version of the songs you chanted as a kid.

Rich Man, Poor Man

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
Doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief.

Her shoes will be
Wood, leather, high heel, low heel, sandals, wooden.

Her dress will be made of
Silk, satin, cotton, batten, rags.

Her house will be
Big house, little house, pigpen, barn.

Her rings shall be made of
Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, glass.

How many children will she get?
1, 2, 3 . . . . .

And now you're married you must obey,
You must be true in every way.

You must be kind, you must be good,
And make your husband chop the wood.

I'm a Little Dutch Girl

I'm a little Dutch girl
Dressed in blue.
Here are the things
I like to do:

Salute to the captain,
Bow to the queen,
Turn by back
On the submarine.

I can do the tap dance,
I can do the split,
I can do the holka polka
Just like this.

Miss Suzy

Miss Suzy had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Suzy went to heaven
The steamboat went to
Hello operator
Please give me number nine
If you disconnect me
I'll kick you from
Behind the refrigerator there was a piece of glass
Miss Suzy sat upon it and cut her little
Ask me no more questions
Tell me no more lies
The boys are in the bathroom zipping up their
Flies are in the meadow
The bees are in the park
Miss Suzy and her boyfriend are kissing in the
Dark is like a movie
A movie's like a show
A show is like a TV screen
And that is all I know.

I Went Downtown

I went downtown
To see Ms. Brown,
She gave me a nickel
To buy a pickle,
The pickle was sour,
So I bought a flower.
The flower was dead, she gave me a tack.
The tack was sharp, she gave me a harp.
The harp was broke, she gave me a cloak.
The cloak was tight, she gave me a kite.
The kite away flew, and I did too.

(If more than one child is jumping, one can run out at this time.)

Down in the Valley

Down in the valley
Where the green grass grows
There sat ______(girl's name)
Sweet as a rose

She sang, she sang
She sang so sweet
Along came ______(boy's name)
And kissed her cheek

How many kisses did he give her
{count until someone misses}

I Asked My Mother

I asked my mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence.
He jumped so high he touched the sky,
And never came back till the Fourth of July

(Kids should try to jump higher and higher as the song is sung.)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, please skiddoo!

(If more than one child is jumping, one can run out on the word "skiddoo.")

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, climb the stairs,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the light,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say good night!

Modern Songs in the Classic Style

If you want to substitute some more modern themes and ideas into jump rope chants or songs, you can easily do so. These examples use the traditional style of chanting found in most jump rope songs but offer a few elements that are more contemporary.

Cell Phone Sounds

I heard the sound
of my cell phone ring.
How many times
did it ring, ring, ring?

I heard the sound
of a brand new text
How many times
did it ping, ping, ping?

(Jumper jumps and counts until she misses)

Snack Time

When it's snack time
my mother says
Eat apples and oranges,
celery and carrots,
crackers and cheese.

When it's snack time
my tummy wants
Snickers and Pop Tarts,
Pringles and Doritos,
root beer and ice cream, please!

What Does She Wear?

What does she wear?
A hoodie
A t-shirt
Sneakers
and jeans.

And how does she do her hair?
A ponytail,
A braid,
Pigtails
and curls.

(Children can continue coming with clothing items and hair styles and continue to jump until they miss.)

Coming Up With Your Own Jump Rope Songs

If you want to come up with something a little more creative, you can try to come up with your own jump rope songs and chants, too. Think of things that will promote counting or include lists to help keep the jumping rhythm. Include some simple rhyming words and phrases to keep the flow of your song, and add in favorite items, things to do or even places to go. Another way you could come up with original songs to jump to is by coming up with new words for songs you already know. These work best if they have a steady or repeated rhythm.

Add to the Jumping Fun

Once you've learned how to jump rope, jumping to classic songs and chants makes it even more fun, especially if you're doing it with friends. Whether you go with a traditional song from decades ago or come up with a new twist in the classic style on your own, it will add laughter and memories. You may even want to learn jump rope tricks!

7 Classic Jump Rope Songs