When Do Toddlers Learn To Jump?(Free Milestones Checklist!)

toddler boy jumping in puddle

When do toddlers learn to jump? Is your toddler struggling to jump and you’re worried? Like most parents (myself included), are you comparing your little ones to other toddlers and thinking that they may not be a typically developing child?

I’d say don’t stress, but it’s not my place – instead, the team at My Toddler Life have combined their experiences to come up with the following information, that we hope will help you get a bit of insight into what is going on:

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When Do Toddlers Learn To Jump?

Is my toddler normal? Why aren’t they jumping yet? All of my kids friends are jumping around and Freddie just stands there? There is nothing nice about comparing our kids to others, but we all still do it.

As a general guideline, most children have learned the skill of jumping by the time they are 3. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but they are all so different – some will be jumping at 18 months, and some not until well past 3. Some little ones have disabilities or other things affecting their development which also needs to be taken into consideration.

Still, I know you want some solid answers, so here are the ‘standard’ toddler jumping milestones for you to refer to:

Toddler Jumping Milestones

According to this journal article in the peer-reviewed Cerebral Cortex journal, these are the common toddler jumping milestones:

18-21 months: 

  • Walks on toes
  • Squats to pick up toys
  • Tries to jump up on things
  • Often 1 foot leads

21-24 months:

  • Can get both feet off the floor
  • Jumps forwards 30cm

24-30 Months

  • Jumps off low steps
  • Often can’t stop
  • Lands in squat with hands forward

30-36 months

  • Begins to jump over low objects on the floor
  • Lands on feet

3-4 years of age

  • Jumps forward 45-60cm
  • Jumps over 30cm hurdle
  • Jumps off 50cm step

Why Can’t My Child Jump Yet? 

While I do have a Public Health degree and a familiar with toddler development, I am not an occupational therapist and so cannot diagnose your toddler over the internet (soz!). However, according to North Shore Pediatric Therapy (who ARE a group of qualified experts), these are the most common reasons for jumping delays in young children:

  • Visual discrepancy: in other words, your toddler may not be able to see like other kids and has trouble jumping due to this
  • Depth perception issue: your toddler may struggle to balance and as a result is afraid of jumping due to an issue with their depth perception
  • Anxiety: your toddler may suffer from anxiety and may be uncomfortable performing jumps or other gross motor skills due to this

These are just some of the reasons which can be diagnosed by a professional if you are concerned your toddler is not yet jumping. 

Should We See A Professional?

If you or any other family members are concerned about your toddler not being able to jump yet, a visit to a professional will definitely help to ease any anxieties you have. However, seeing an occupational therapist or a pediatric physical therapist is expensive and you want to know if you really need to go.

Some guidelines to help with your decision – if your toddler ticks any of the following boxes from around the age of 2.5 onwards, it may be a good idea:

  • not jumping at all at the ages of 2.5 to 3.
  • Attempts to jump off the floor are unsuccessful.
  • is afraid to jump down stairs.
  • jumps just on one side.
  • Jumping and stopping are difficult.
  • When attempting a jump, stumbles.

Use your own judgement mama, your gut feeling is usually the correct one. 

Fun Activities To Encourage Jumping

Use A Trampoline

Who doesn’t love a trampoline! Toddlers have the best time on these things and they won’t even realise they are doing it for more than just fun. Find a trampoline with a handle if your toddler is nervous about the bouncing, even on a soft surface.

Trampolines can be a really good way to not only develop those initial jumping skills, but have fun while doing it too. This one from Eezy Peezy trampoline has a handle AND also starts as a ball pit for bubs 12 months+

Jump Rope

While learning to jump rope is such a brilliant way to improve your toddler’s jumping skills – I love it for one reason only. The laughs I get from ME trying to jump rope to show the kids is absolutely hilarious. If you’re anything like me and you haven’t jumped rope since school – go and give yourself a laugh while helping your toddlers development. 

Have A Competition

Have you ever noticed your toddler and their mates competing about absolutely everything (“my daddy is picking me up early today” “no, my daddy is too!”). Kids love a competition. Let’s use it to trick your stubborn toddler into jumping by having a jumping competition – who can jump the furtherst! Toddlers love new challenges – and, go! 

Step Jumping

Once your toddler has mastered the trampoline, the jump rope and is super happy having jumping competitions with you, move them on to the next stage of jumping off heights. Small heights, such as a low step, are a great way to improve their new skill.

If you don’t have any stairs at home, you can always grab a cheap gym step from your local discount store for them to practice on. Next step – higher surfaces and the elusive one-foot jump!! 

Why Jumping Is An Important Skill

Parents have enough on their plate without worrying about if their toddler can jump or not. However, jumping is a super important gross motor skill for your toddler to develop. Boring, I know. Why is jumping so important?

  • Jumping is a stepping stone for other gross motor skills such as skipping and galloping
  • Jumping helps develop balance, core and leg strength (not only in those leg muscles, but in bones as well) in your little one 
  • Social skills – doesn’t your heart just sink when you see other kids participating in jumping games but your kid is left out because they can’t jump? Devastating! 

Toddler Developmental Milestones Checklist

From before they even take their first steps, we as parents are obsessively checking if they are reaching all the milestones they are “supposed to” hit (just me??). Well, if you’re going to check anyway, you might as well get out free printable developmental milestones (this includes the fine motor skills as well) checklist here:

Why Trust My Toddler Life?

My Toddler Life is run by mama’s, for mama’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals.

How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously! We may use affiliate links in this post – rest assured, these do not cost you, our dear readers, any additional money to use – phew!


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