Friday, November 07, 2008

Hoops, ropes, and rhymes

On the sidewalk in the neighborhood.

I had a red hula hoop when I was 5. I couldn’t shoop-shoop it like the big kids, so I did other things with it. Tried to use it like a jump rope, threw it up in the air and tried to catch it, rolled it along the sidewalk. But mostly I pretended it was magic; that if I moved it down over my head to my feet, and back up again (so I was inside the hoop), I would have magic powers. These powers included the ability to become invisible, to have super powers to use against bad people, and to make things I wanted instantly appear.

I had a jump rope, too, with red handles. At school, we were given jump ropes to play with at recess. There were short 1-person ropes, and long ones that were used for jump rope games.

A jump rope game we used to play:

Down in the valley where the green grass grows,
There sat
(jumper) pretty as a rose.
Up came
(a boy the jumper’s got a crush on) and kissed her on the cheek,
How many kisses did she get this week?

One, two, three, four, five….

Another one, particularly suited for Idaho, the “famous potato” state:

1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4
5 potato, 6 potato, 7 potato more.

Acha bacha, cucaracha,

Out goes


Of course, jumping rope became a professional sport. There's US Jump Rope, which is made up of teams and individuals who compete in contests held all over the country. And the International Rope Skipping Organization which focuses on gymnastic and stunts. You can even watch the meets on ESPN.


Katie said...

Nice photo -- glad to see kids are still playing these games! We had hula hoops (but I preferred the pogo stick). Also played plenty of hopscotch, jump rope and jacks. Now you have me trying to remember all the jump rope rhymes!

Engine, engine number nine
Going down the Chicago Line
If the train should jump it's track
How many days to get it back?
One, two, three ...

I haven't thought of that since my childhood days in Indiana!

Ms M said...

I'd almost forgotten that rhyme! We played hopscotch and jacks, too, as well as "Mother may I". We didn't have a pogo stick, but some of my friends did. My childhood days were in Missouri.