Skipping or skip rope was a great activity when we were kids in the 50s, 60s and beyond. We played at home, in the street and at school, before school, during lunch-time, play-time and after school too. We didn’t need special educational programmes to encourage physical fitness through skipping either. We just did it because we loved it. No devices and limited TV helped.
I recall a couple of skipping rhymes:
- ‘Salt, Vinegar, Pepper, Mustard’. Two people held either end of a long skipping rope turning it. A person in the middle skipped and when they made a mistake stopping the turning of the rope on a certain word, the rope turners would move the rope to a pattern to suit the name. ‘Mustard’ was the worse. That was hard and fast. You never lasted long and you landed up with stinging rope marks on your calves.
- ‘Pauline and Gary were sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First came love, then came marriage. Then came Pauline with a baby in a carriage. How many babies did they have? 1, 2, 3 . . .’ (Insert name of the skipper and a boy the skipper knew, preferably one she liked).
- The following is one I really loved, again done with two people turning a long rope. ‘Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, bow down low. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch your toe. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, switch off the light. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight’ While skipping you would do the actions. On the last bit – ‘Say goodnight’, you’d wave and run out for someone else to take a turn.
Did you skip when you were younger? Do you still do it now?! Do you remember these rhymes, or did you have other ones?