A Good Friday tradition in Sussex and Cambridge, where families skipped on the green at Parker's Piece, the men turning the ropes while the women and children skipped and chanted rhymes.
Family skipping is fantastically energetic: use long ropes (plastic ones are lighter on the arms or you can make your own with bobbins and rope available from www.toypost.co.uk) and ask your children to teach you some skipping rhymes. Our kids' current favourites are:
'Red peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, blue,
[Person's name] would like to skip with you.
(They jump in)
Fudge and toffee, mint and peppermint cream,
[Person's name] would like to skip with me.
(They jump in)
Brandy and coffee, milkshake and tea,
Please can everyone skip with me.'
(Everyone jumps in and skips for as long as they can)
'Not last night but the night before
Twenty-four robbers came knocking at my door.
As I ran out (Run out of skipping rope), they ran in (Run back in)
And this is what they began to sing.
Spanish lady, turn around (Turn)
Spanish lady, touch the ground (Touch ground)
Spanish lady, do some kicks (Kick legs once each)
Spanish lady, do the splits.' (Trap rope between your legs)
'Cinderella dressed in yella went downstairs to kiss a fella.
Big mistake, she kissed a snake, how many doctors will it take?
One-two-three-four-five-six...' (The person skipping chooses when to leave the rope, at which stage the next person enters)