Want To Have Fun? STOMP ON IT!

I’ve been using a stomp board (also known as a launch board) for over 25 years! It is a must-have, and one of the kids' all time favorite item for active play! I’ve used it in the classroom as well as at children’s birthday parties and citywide children’s festivals. I use them in obstacle courses inside (on carpet or linoleum) or outside (on cement, grass, etc.) As far as I’m concerned, every classroom could use at least two stomp boards! Discount School Supply carries one called the Joey Jump. In my opinion it really is superior compared to the wood ones I’ve used in the past. The Joey Jump is lightweight, plastic, comes with two bean bags and can be used by both preschoolers and school-age children.

The board is designed for a stomp—forceful step with one foot (not an actual jump)-- on the short end, propelling into the air a soft object (i.e. bean bag) was placed on the other end. The child then tries to catch the object that was launched off the board when they stomped. Because of the design and incline of the board, the object does not go shooting off randomly but propels straight up off the board and the child with outstretched arms can try to catch it in his/her hands.

Children must concentrate on getting their hands ready to catch the beanbag and focus on watching the beanbag as it moves through the air. Children should first focus on attempting to catch the beanbag with both hands at the same time, then try with the right and the left hand alone. As children get better at catching, other challenges can be added such as: stomping more firmly on the board so the beanbag goes higher; attempting to catch two beanbags at the same time; and launching and catching other items such as a foam ball, fleece ball, sensory ball and even a small stuffed animal.

I also like using foam dice with the stomp boards. Kids can put the die on the end, stomp and launch the die. Ask the child what number is facing up when he/she catches it. When using dice, we are not only working on the fundamental motor skill of catching but also addressing the core standard of mathematics--number concepts, counting and geometry (the die is a cube). The stomp board promotes physical development with the use of eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination, gross/fine motor skills, and it promotes social/emotional development: self-confidence and independence.

Kids love to do the stomp board over and over again as they try to catch the bean bag or sensory ball. It does take them a couple of times to get the hang of it, but once they do—they are self-motivated to experience THE FUN over and over again!