Summer Activity Game: Pump It Up

Children sit on a swing without touching the ground with their feet. Starting from this position, they try to swing as high as possible using 10 or fewer leg pumps. They may rock their bodies forward and backward to help commence the swinging motion, but they cannot touch the ground at any time during the leg pumps.

Play Element: Swinging
  • Develops leg, arm, and core strength
  • Promotes coordination and the movement qualities of force and speed.
Teaching Tips
  • Emphasize quick and forceful leg pumps, or let children discover and comment on this.
  • Have children lean the entire body back to a horizontal position or beyond before executing the first leg pump.
Safety Tips
  • The swinger must grasp the swing with both hands at all times, especially when leaning backward to initiate the swinging motion.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient playground safety surfacing under and around the equipment.
  • Spot as needed.
  • Easier: allow children one small push to help get the swinging motion started.
  • More Challenging: Muster a distinguishable swinging motion in 5 or fewer leg pumps; challenge children in the same swing frame, to see who can go the highest with 10 pumps.
Did You Know?

Swings can be found on art dating as far back as 5th Century B.C.!

Download the activity pdf here.

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