How to Ice Skate Tots Class – Hopping (Kayla Johnson)

Figure skating coach and tots expert Kayla Johnson demonstrates and gives tips on leading two fun activities designed to help teach kids how to hop on two feet on the ice. Hopping is an important skill for beginning skaters to learn because the movement requires balance, proper posture, and a willingness to risk leaving the ice.

The first activity Kayla calls “Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  Most kids will know the rhyme from preschool that goes, “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head…..”  The rhyme continues with 4, 3, 2, 1 and no more monkeys jumping on the bed. Kayla incorporates hopping by having the skaters do a 2-foot hop each time the class says the words “jump” or “jumping.”  Notice how she has also incorporated backward wiggles and forward marching into the rhyme.

The second activity Kayla calls “Popcorn.” During this activity, the kids get to use their imaginations to pretend that they are popcorn kernels who hop when they “pop.”  She draws a big circle to represent a pan that is heating up and all the skaters spread out in the pan.  Each time the popcorn “pops” the kids will hop on two feet.  The “popping” starts out slowly with small hops and a slow tempo but gradually speeds up until the kids are continuously hopping with big hops.  Kayla mentions the importance of having good posture with arms out and good balance during this activity.


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