Play On: 7 Fun Hula Hoop Games

25th May, 2011 - Posted by - 9 Comments


Did you know that by adding and modeling the use of a variety of equipment and materials to outdoor play spaces, young children can have higher levels of physical activity? Play props, such as hula hoops, balls and wheeled toys can help children get the 120 minutes of physical activity a day that is recommended (NASPE, 2010).

Hula hoops are fun, but may be challenging for young children to use. Try these engaging activities using hula hoops in different ways to develop a feeling of success for your children.

1. Musical Hoops: Boogie around an open area to the music until it stops, then jump into any hula hoop that is on the ground (one per person). Add some extra fun and movement practice by giving a designated movement skill to do inside the hoop before boogie time starts again.

2. Driver’s Seat: Get inside the Hula Hoop with your child. Pretend it is a car. Who will be in front and be the driver and steer as you move around? When your child takes the driver’s seat he is practicing stability. Make it a bit harder by adding some resistance to the child’s pull. What type of car are you driving and where are you going? Use your imagination!
3. Hoop Toss: Create a big target such as milk jug or soda bottle (filled with some sand to weigh it down) and toss the hoop to land around the target. Start close and slowly increase the distance.
4. Get Rolling! Roll hoops across an open area to get children practicing running and catching. Vary the distance to vary the challenge. Increase the fun by rolling more than one hoop at a time and see which one the child decides to catch.
5. Run and Roll: Lay a hula hoop on the ground for one partner to stand inside. The other partner stands beside the hula hoop and rolls the hula hoop across an open space. The partner standing in the hoop runs to catch the hula hoop before it falls to the ground and brings the hula hoop back to its original spot. Partners take turns rolling and running to catch the hoop.
6. Jumping Around: Arrange several hula hoops in a circle on the ground close enough to that they are touching. Each child stands in a hoop, once a signal has been given, each child jumps form one hoop to next in the circle. Give the signal again to stop, turn around and jump the opposite way.
7. Through the Hoop: Form a single file line of several children. Give the first child in the line a hula hoop to hold over their head. Children will pull hula hoop down over their bodies and then give the hoop to the next person in line. Time the activity and see how fast the hula hoop can move through the line.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s play!


This post is part of the We Play link-up at Childhood 101 and the It’s Playtime link-up at Let the Children Play. We love being part of the world-wide play movement!

Creative Commons License photo credit: jdunny

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May 25th, 2011 at 5:25 pm    

Hang the hula hoop from a tree and throw a football or other balls through the hoop. Try swinging it from side to side can you still get it through?

Lower the hula hoop very close to the ground. Can you step through it without falling over? Can you do a forward roll through it?


May 25th, 2011 at 10:08 pm    

Fun, Margaret — thanks for sharing!

Chapter Forty

May 26th, 2011 at 2:20 am    

I am so going to go out and get some hula hoops now.

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

May 26th, 2011 at 12:09 pm    

Great ways to use a hula hoop! Can’t wait for the kids to be old enough to do these (and for us to GET one!)

Thanks for sharing on It’s Playtime!

Beth Kimberly

May 26th, 2011 at 3:38 pm    

Fun! What great ideas. I also like using four Hulu Hoops for corners of a giant game of Switch (

Just last year, I learned to play Hula Hoop tag with older youth. It takes some detailed instructions for safety, but can be very fun!


May 26th, 2011 at 5:15 pm    

Some really good ideas for play. I’m going to have to go buy a hoola hoop now . Thanks for sharing.

A New Week « Preschool Years at Home

February 6th, 2012 at 1:00 am    

[...] Gross Motor Skills Practice hopping; play outdoor games with hula hoop. [...]

[...] You can bring home the fun with this hands-on activity over at Family Fun — a Hula Hoop T-Shirt Rug.  I’m kind of excited to try this with my 7-year-old.  She’s been asking for a rug for her bedroom.  The fun part about this activity is that first you re-use old t-shirts and then you can re-use the hula hoop as a family toy.  You can find 7 Fun Hula Hoop Activities at The Body Smart Blog. [...]

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