I really do make a huge effort to not get plastic bags, yet somehow they seem to multiply in our house. So, on a quest to figure out something to do with them, I came up with this idea: a jump rope. The girls love jump ropes, although they haven’t quite figured out how to actually use them yet .They do, however, love to use them to limbo under, tie to a tricycle or wagon, drag things around, make a police stop in the bike traffic circle in our backyard, and many, many other ways. So I figured I would try to make one from the plastic bags, and was pleasantly surprised when it worked really well.

Materials:

  • plastic bags (we used 12)
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • chair (optional)

Instructions

  1. Step 1Collect a bundle of plastic bags and cut each one open so it becomes one flat piece. (Note: Use different colors of bags to give your jump rope extra splashes of color.)
  2. Cut off the handles of each bag and any extra pieces, leaving one large rectangle of plastic.
  3. Next, cut each rectangle into long strips. There needn't be specific lengths or widths; Step 3it doesn't matter in the braiding process.
  4. After cutting a few bags’ worth of strips, tie the strips together. Make sure the length of the strips is a little longer then the length you want the jump rope to be. I made a total of 12 long strips.
  5. Take six of the strips and tape them together at one end. Then tape the whole group to the back of a chair as a placeholder (if you ever made friendship bracelets as a kid, Step 5you know exactly what I am talking about).
  6. Braid the six strips together into one very long, jump rope-sized braid. When you're finished, repeat this step with the second 6 strips so that you have two long plastic braids.
  7. Twist the two braids together tightly so that the jump rope has enough weight to swing when jumping.
  8. Step 7Tape the ends with duct tape to create handles.

When you're finished, take your jump rope outside and play. If you only have one "holder" and one "jumper," tie the unattended end to a chair—it works just as well as a person! This craft is also good for pulling wagons and tricycles; the plastic is surprisingly strong and seems to hold up well. Happy jumping!

Katie Gill-Harvey is a mother of two and an art teacher who loves creating with children. Her blog, A Childhood List, chronicles the moments that make childhood so memorable. With an ever-growing list of things to make, places to go, stuff to do and moments big and small, it is an inspiring and creative site for families and children.

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