[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn spins up some hula hoop games for kids.]
It’s Spring Break at our house – the week when then kids are home from school and constantly wanting something to eat … and something to do. We’ve made play-doh from flour and chalk paint from cornstarch. The kids have painted one another and we’ve played with all our flow toys. And that was just by Tuesday. Now what?
In a hoop-making house though there’s no shortage of circles – so it was time to get creative with them. Here’s some hula hoop games you can play with your kids and you can even do all of these with cheap store-bought hoops, too. My daughters and I made up some games of our own with our hoops and later on we borrowed even more from the infinite parental guru we call Google. So whether you’re coming up on Spring Break too, or simply looking for new ways to entertain the littles, we’ve got some fresh ideas for you. Ready, set, gather your hoops, and get ready for some non-hooping fun with your favorite plastics and offspring!
Hoopscotch: It seemed like a no-brainer. Throw down some hoops of different sizes in any pattern you like and you’ve got a challenging course for growing legs filled with extra vacation sugar.
The Hula Hoop Bubble Wand: This great idea from No Biggie is pure genius and couldn’t be simpler. Fill a kiddie pool with a 1 to 2 ratio of water to dish soap (use Dawn). No Biggie recommends letting the solution sit over night and try to keep the kids from splashing – foam is the enemy of big beautiful bubbles. Go slow, put yourself right in the middle of the fun and watch your giant bubble creations take to the sky!
The DIY Hula Hoop Tent: It’s great whether you’ve got phenomenal Spring weather or have to stay inside on a cold or rainy day. Alanna George says to hang it from a tree in your yard and it just requires a sheet and safety pins. Or use this fancier indoor version from Montessoribyhand’s Flickr stream. If you sew, you can even add pockets for books and toys for a perfect indoor hideaway.
Hula Hoop Basketball: A winner for every age! Just hang hula hoops, one beneath the other, from an existing basketball hoop – or hey, why not a doorway or a couple trees instead. This little piece of brilliance from Learning Laboratory allows for a different kind of hoop success for any age or height. Throw a ball or bean bag and score where you can.[picture]
Musical Hoops: This rocks too and gets everybody moving – especially if you’re hosting other kids. Lay out hoops in a large circle and keep on trucking until the music stops – then jump in a hoop! Remove a hoop each time, just like the classic musical chairs – only when you’re “out” you have to hoop until you can jump back in the game. ‘Cause the circle never ends, right?
Ninja Hooping: And when all else fails, nobody ever turns down a game of Ninja Hooping (or Star Wars Hooping), where you waist hoop toward one another trying to knock the other person’s hoop down.
Hula Hoop Croquet: This takes the cake for ingenuity. Paint some plastic balls (or not) and cut some cheap store bought hula hoops in half to make wickets that are perfect for young players. No need for mallets – young children just kick the balls through the “hoop-wickets” for success and big smiles! Do it up right and proper with these easy instructions from The Crafting Chicks.
And if you want to take a simple kid-friendly spin on hoopmaking get your little you a few packs of their favorite stickers to put on a blank hoop. Use clear vinyl tape to cover them to make it last. For extra credit, try performing all the lyrics of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” while hooping. Or the “Hokey Pokey”! Lastly, a favorite at our house is to choreograph a little hoop number to the kids’ favorite song. Let the kid lead and invent the moves. It helps memory and the kids love taking the lead and telling you what to do for once!
What are your favorite hooping games or games-reinvented-with-a-hoop? We love ALL of these and you will too! Here’s to quality family time with a hoop no matter how you shake it out!
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. She’s also the driving force behind Circumference with online and live business and marketing classes for hoop makers, instructors, and performers.