Should I jump

Jumping is so important for motor skills

When can children jump?

Every child develops differently, so there are only guidelines. Children between 16 and 22 months do their first mini-hops with both legs. When they are around 36 months old, they can hop on both legs from the bottom step. About a year later, they manage to hop forward about 30 centimeters with both legs.

"At the age of five, almost all children can safely hop on one leg," says Oskar Jenni, who and his team found this out in a study. "When the children start school, they have reached the most important motor milestones," says Jenni. "They are now refining their skills, jumping further or higher."

How do little ones make the jump?

Whether it's a wall or a climbing arch - if children want to jump off something, parents should pay attention to an age-appropriate height, advises Dr. Axel Kupfer from the Sport University Cologne. Only: It differs depending on the child. As a rule, however, the little ones know very well what they can trust themselves. Therefore, if the child hesitates, parents should not push them.

If the jump height is above shoulder high, a soft surface is important for cushioning, for example a sandpit. Tip: encourage the child to land on both feet, this will help them develop a sense of what they can master. "The first jumps from a crouched elevation are easier and safer," says Kupfer. This lowers the body's center of gravity and thus reduces the height of the fall.

Why is hopping healthy?

Children take off just for the fun of movement. She cares very little that it is also good for her fitness. Jumping has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, coordination and balance. A Heidelberg study showed that pronounced jumping movements in adults could alleviate depressive symptoms.

Trampoline - brilliant or dangerous?

First of all: "It's an incredibly beautiful piece of sports equipment because children like to move on it, and again and again. Voluntarily!" Says sports scientist Axel Kupfer. When jumping, the little ones feel lightness, even weightlessness for almost a moment.

"This also helps overweight children, for example. Because the weight factor is no longer a factor, they can coordinate on the trampoline with children of normal weight," explains the expert. "You can jump straight ahead, sometimes sitting, sometimes standing. That is very motivating."

And the risk of injury? Is there. Therefore, parents should make sure that the trampoline is surrounded by a safety net so that the child cannot fall out. And: let only one child jump at a time, not several at the same time! This prevents the children from falling on each other or crashing into each other and injuring themselves. Kupfer also advises: "As soon as the child is tired, it should take a few minutes' break. Parents recognize the moment when their child makes their head wobble a little while jumping or the hips move forward. Then the strength, the muscle tension, is lacking to keep."