February 22, 2010

DIY jump rope

Little H. has discovered the fun of playing jump rope, recently. She needed to bring a jump rope to her gymnastics class and she's been hooked ever since. So far she used her sister's jump rope. We have more jump ropes at home but her sister's is simply the best.
Basically, her sister's jump rope is nothing else but a rather thick climber's rope cut to length. We bought it that way a long time ago. It has a nice weight and doesn't curl or tangle like the regular plastic ones, and therefore the spinning of the rope is more regular which makes the jumping easier, especially for a beginner. Since I couldn't find any of these ropes around here, and I remember I found them a bit pricey at that time too, I decided to fix her a jump rope myself. I simply bought a pack of thick colorful climber's rope at the hardware store, cut it to the right length, made a knot at both ends, burned the ends and all set.

In case you want to give this a try, here are a few hints:

- don't take a rope which is too thin. You need a rope with a bit of "body" so it drapes nicely. This will guarantee smooth spinning and avoids the twisting and tangling typically for classic plastic jump ropes. Also, the thicker the rope the longer it will last. It outlives its plastic competitor, anyway, we found.

- in order to get the right length, cut the rope such that when held in both hands and with both feet on top of the center of the rope, the rope ends come up to right under the armpits (make sure to add a bit of margin for knotting, so ideally you measure after having tied a knot at one end already) - if this isn't clear, check out this clip.

- you don't need handles - just tie a double overhand knot, as shown in the pictures, and cut off the excess ends

from left to right:
1. tie an overhand knot; 2. thread the end a second time through the overhand knot; 3. pull both ends ; 4. pull some more and finally pull tight

- to avoid the cord from fraying, just burn the ends with a lighter (be careful, though, and don't let a child do this!)

- another advantage of this type of jump rope is that you can wash it when it gets really dirty.

- if you buy several yards of cord, while you're at it, just make jump ropes for the entire family...

- this would make a nice and cheap birthday party favor, too

Wishing you some happy jumping and a happy Monday!

xo, P.
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