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The One-Foot Hop

Jumping rope, playing hopscotch, skipping  -- all these classic kid activities hinge on a single accomplishment: hopping on one foot. Your child will reach this milestone any time between ages 2 and 4, after he's mastered jumping up and down with both feet. Being able to hop on just one foot means that the connection between your child's brain and muscles has matured and that he's developed an advanced sense of balance, says Lewis First, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, in Burlington.

A toddler won't necessarily think of trying to do a one-legged hop on his own, but you can get him started on this neat trick by:

  • showing him how to stand on one foot (a great boredom buster when you're waiting in long lines)

  • having him try to hop from one foot to the other to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel" (while you're doing the same, of course).
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