Jumping may not seem like an important developmental milestone for children, but it’s one of the activities children need for better gross motor strength, proprioception, motor planning, balance and core muscle. Without this development, your child’s lower levels of the brain (cerebellum) used for balance, coordination, attention, and rhythm could become underdeveloped, which could lead to delays in learning, sensory-seeking behavior, or attention and focus issues in the classroom. Typically, children will begin with little hops a few months after they begin walking. Eventually, they will develop more strength and balance as they jump off furniture, hop on one foot, and jump downstairs. Also, Physical activity is advocated as one strategy for enhancing peak bone mass during childhood as a means to reduce osteoporosis‐related fractures. Research has indicated the positive effect of physical activity on growing bones, reporting higher bone mass in active children compared with nonactive children. More specifically, children engaged in high‐intensity weight‐bearing activities such as gymnastics and ballet have higher bone mass when compared with children involved in low‐intensity weight‐bearing activities such as walking and swimming. Therefore, the development of “bone loading” exercise programs targeted at increasing bone mass during childhood has important implications as a prevention strategy for osteoporosis.
Take a few minutes today and jump, dance or just wiggle around with your children. It not only is a great way to get rid of some built up extra energy, it is a fun family activity that is GREAT for everyone's overall health!