I don’t know about you, but my kids are tired of being stuck inside. Especially since, for us, being inside is limited to less than 200 sq. feet. Yesterday, they had a lot of energy that needed to be used because they were using it for all the wrong things. (aka…not a good day). The #PlayfulPreschool is doing nursery rhymes this week, so I thought jumping over some ‘candlesticks’ would make for a good nursery rhyme gross motor activity. Shiloh thought so too!

jack be nimble nursery rhyme gross motor brain break printable

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Jack Be Nimble Gross Motor Brain Break

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Paper Cutter

As far as activities go this one is incredibly easy to prep. From printing to the start of the jumping fun took all of two minutes.

(You can get the candlestick download at the end of this post.)

Because of Shiloh’s developmental delays, she does not jump yet. She does love to think that she knows how though. This is a big reason why I chose to use printable candles instead of real ones. Most preschoolers would be able to jump over some short candles though if you wanted to use real ones.

I just wouldn’t light them….lol!

At first when I told her to jump, she thought that she would act like a ballerina. So instead of jumping, she started spinning with her hands up in the air. Totally cute, but not quite what we were looking for.

Since I can’t jump & take pictures at the same time, I enlisted the help of my 7 year old. She went around the candles with Shiloh saying ‘jump’ as she went over each one.

Shiloh quickly caught on, but her favorite candles were the ones in the center, so she kept “leaping” over the same ones while Jaida went around her.

preschooler jumping

Even though she didn’t jump (which was not an expectation for her), she enjoyed getting up and moving with her older sister and she got to hear a new nursery rhyme.

To extend this activity with kids of a higher skill level you could have them race to see how fast they can jump over all the candlesticks. After the nursery rhyme says,

“Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack jumped over the candlestick.”

You can also talk about opposites like fast & slow or nimble & clumsy.

jack be nimble nursery rhyme gross motor brain break printable
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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11 Comments

  1. Definitely a good way to get the kiddos moving! I can see so many extensions of this activity for different ages and needs, too. 🙂

  2. LOVE this idea! It’s a great gross motor skills activity. My son would have a blast with it.

  3. Your comments about avoiding lighting the candles (if used) cracked me up. Yes, that would be a disaster waiting to happen. The cute free printables you are providing make it so easy to ‘jump right in’ and play this game. In some ways it is more challenging because the paper is wider than an actual candle.

  4. What a great way to get kids moving and learning! We usually play a game similar to this outside (with the sprinkler) This is a great winter indoor version! LOL

    1. Yes, while it’s not snowing and freezing here, it’s still a bit too cold to be jumping in the sprinkler!

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