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How to Hop: Tips for Toddler

Your kid has kept you hopping from day one, but once she passes her second birthday, it's her turn. At this age, she's probably physically coordinated and strong enough to hop on one foot; if she can successfully balance on just one, she's ready to start trying. (And if she's not, practicing is a fine distraction while you're waiting in line at the grocery store or post office.) To get her going, try the following:

Give her a hand
Have her lean on you for her first attempts; as she gets better, ask her to stretch her arms out to the sides or put her hands on her hips.

Add some rhymes
They'll give her rhythms she can match. You can make up something goofy, or go with traditional ones, like "Wee Willie Winkie."

Act it out
See if she can imitate animal hoppers. Try a bunny (fingers on her head for ears) or a chickadee (arms folded in close, like wings).

Give it time
Most pediatricians are happy just to see 2-year-olds jumping on two feet, so don't fret if she's wobbling on one. By the time she's 3, she'll probably be a pro, and you'll have to batten down the hatches!