I never really knew how to hula hoop very well until I became a PE Teacher. I soon realized that I needed to up my skill level so I could demonstrate for my students. Over the years teaching kids has given me plenty of time to play around, practice and be creative finding different ways to hula hoop.
Hula Hoops are great.
They are easily accessible for most kids, cheap and easy to setup in class. They’re great for a station activity and if you get tired of Hula Hooping you can even find other creative things to do with them, like build Hula Huts or use them in games like Hula Hut Throwdown.
In the video below you’ll find a few of my tricks that I teach to 2nd – 5th grade after they’ve gotten the basics down in K-1. There are of course always a ton of variations, but hopefully this will give you a few ideas.
If you don’t have time to check out the video I’ll give you an overview below of how I teach hula hooping with my kids and hopefully it will give you some ideas to plan some of your own Hula Hooping Activities:
Hula Hooping Tricks For Kids
Intro: Talk about management and make sure kids know when the music is off they should drop their hoops and sit down inside of them without touching them. If students have trouble with this you can let them try hula hooping with an “imaginary hula hoop” – it’s a lot easier, but not as much fun…
Hula Hoop Challenges (modify or add more as you see fit)
- Waist Hula Hoop
- Start on your back, count to 3 and spin that hoop – try to keep it going as long as you can.
- I’ve found that telling kids to move forward and back a pretty helpful cue
- Extension: Try a waist hoop starting on your belly
- Waist Hoop on Knees
- Kneel on the ground and try to start your hula hoop while on your knees
- Extension: Stand up from knees without dropping your hoop
- Waist Hoop – Touch a Knee
- Start hooping on your waist and then try to touch a knee or kneel down to the ground and stand back up without dropping your hoop
- Neck Hula Hoop – AKA: “The Chicken Neck”
- Start the hoop on the back of your neck and then bob your head like a chicken and try to keep it going
- Be careful not to smack yourself in the face – start slow
- Arm Hooping
- Hold your arm out straight and spin your hoop around your wrist – keep your muscles tight and make small circles
- Extension: Try to switch to another arm without stopping
- Hula Jumping
- Hold your hoop in front of you and jump through it like a jump rope
- If your hoop keeps hitting the ground – pick up your hands and hold it a little higher
- Extension: Try Hula Jumping Backwards
- Knees Hula Hooping
- Put your knees together and then start the hoop on the back of your legs and then start it spinning and see if you can keep it going on your knees
- Extension: Waist to Knees – start on your waist and see if you can make it all the way down to your knees
- Hula Hoop Skipping
- Put the hoop on your foot with one foot inside the hoop and one foot outside the hoop. Try to spin the hoop around your ankle while hoping over it with your other foot.
- SUPER HULA CHALLENGE (Professionals ONLY!!!)
- Hand – Neck – Waist – Knees – Feet
- For a Video Example Click Here
COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY: HULA WAR
- Challenge someone to a Hula War – if they accept proceed to the next step
- Start hula hooping at the same time and walk towards your opponent
- Last hoop standing is the winner!
- Give your opponent a high five and find another to challenge (or go practice some tricks if you don’t want to play Hula War)
- If a student gets frustrated and doesn’t want to try a specific challenge, just allow them to try a different one, it’s about having fun being active – not becoming a professional hula hooper
- Continue to encourage students for any small win and remind them to “Keep on Trying” and “Don’t Give Up”
- In between each challenge you can reinforce good examples by having “Showtime” where you select a willing student to show off that challenge – kids like to see other students doing the skill and it helps them see that it’s attainable.
- If you’re looking to buy some Hula Hoops I recommend getting the 36″ Hoops – they are way easier for kids to learn with than the smaller 24″ ones. Pretty much every sports equipment provider should have them.
What about K-1st Grade?
With my little’s I do some of the basic tricks (Waist, Neck, Hula Jump) just to keep it interesting and allow them to practice throughout the year as a station activity. Also, sometimes afterwards do the Hokey Pokey with our hoops since they are already out … see the video below 🙂
That’s it! If you have some ideas or hula hooping activities or tricks that I didn’t mention – leave them in the comments.
Have Fun and Teach On!