Who can resist a hula hoop? These plastic rings (especially the ones with small steel balls inside that make a terrific swishy sound) are still popular, twirling around the waists of nimble kids who make it look effortless. But why stop at the waist? Here are some more fun things that kids can do with hula hoops.
- Ever try to balance a hoop? Challenge kids to find the center point on their fingertip or forehead. For a bigger challenge, try balancing the hoop on a ruler.
- Use a hoop as a target. Place it on the ground and instruct the kids to toss balls or beanbags inside the circle.
- Aim a rolling hoop at a target. Place a ball or other object on the ground. Kids must step away a few feet and try to roll the hoop toward it.
- Toss a hoop on top of a "post" such as an empty half-gallon milk carton weighted with sand. Or place a lawn chair upside down and use the four legs as tossing targets.
- Use a gentle push to get a large hula hoop rolling on soft grass, then challenge kids to duck down and run through it.
- Cut a length of heavy string about a yard long, then tie it to the hoop. Show kids how to hold the string and rotate the wrist so the hoop becomes a "lasso" twirling around and around.
- Play catch with a hula hoop, tossing it back and forth to each other.
- Find a long stick and use it to push a rolling hoop. For best results, move the stick from one side to the other as the hoop rolls along.