A hula hoop might seem a bit dated in today’s world where there are so many other games and toys available. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. A classic toy does not require a power supply other than your own body heat. Additionally, hula hoops are affordable and easy to handle (once you learn how).
Hula hoops are a fun way of losing calories, toning muscles, and improving coordination for kids of all ages, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For help getting you and your kids started hula hooping, here are a few tips and tricks.
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10 Best Ways or Tricks To Play With a Hula Hoop
Classic Spin Variations
Take your kids outside and play hula hoop. Try to keep the hula hoop spinning for as long as possible around your waist. Despite its fundamental nature, perfecting this trick requires practice. Once you get the hang of it, experiment with something a bit more complex: Shift the hoop up and down your neck or use two hoops to whirl simultaneously on both arms.
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You can use your hoops as targets for beanbags, water balloons, or foam darts if you set them on the ground or prop them up against a wall or tree. Need to test your skills? You can make your moving target by hanging the hoops from playset beams or tree branches.
Up, Down, Under, Over
This classic game is a great choice for a group. Have three or four kids hula hoop at waist level without using their hands while standing inside the hoops. They should then be challenged to wiggle the hoop up their necks or down their ankles (again, without hands). Try also asking them to move together from inside to outside without the hoop touching the ground.
Children have been rolling hoops along the ground with sticks for centuries. Your child can use a simple stick or their hand to roll a hoop a long way before it topples over for a modern twist on “hoop rolling.”
Make a chalk path and ask them to trace it with the hoop after they get the hoop rolling. Create a maze or set up obstacles (such as plastic bowling pins or small traffic cones) for them to overcome.
In this game, you will need several hoops. Hopscotch your child through each hoop as you arrange them on the ground. In the same way that children can race through tires, you can also arrange two parallel lines of hoops.
Home Base for Tag
Hula hoops can be used to create a safe zone or home base for any version of tag you play. The only rule you need to clarify is the hoop home base rules (a player can only stand in a hoop for ten seconds, only one or two players per hoop at a time, etc.).
Aim to place two hoops about eight feet apart (the distance might need to be adjusted based on the ages and skills of the players). Provide each child with a beanbag or two. Tossing the bean bag(s) into the hoop of your opponent is the goal while avoiding letting your opponent’s bags land in your own hoops. To deflect incoming beanbags, players can use one or more of their legs, hands, or feet.
A human version can be done with a little more planning and a safety-first attitude:
Place one kid inside a hoop base wearing a bike helmet. In this case, other players may throw hula hoops over a human target from a predetermined spot by taking turns. As you go around the game, you can increase the distance of the starting point to make the game more challenging.
Is there no jump rope? That’s fine! Here is a neat hula hooping trick you can show your kids.
As you face forward, place the ball vertically in front of your body and then flip it down towards your feet. Once you’re over it, bring it behind you, jump over it, then pull it back over your head to the starting point. If your kid stumbles, have him try it at home first on soft ground to avoid skinned knees.
Pass the Hoop
If a whole group of people is attending a picnic, a playground, or a birthday party, play this hula hoop game. Standing in a line or circle and holding hands is a good idea. Loop the hoop over the arm of the first player to start the game. Once the hoop has been passed around the circle, then it needs to be passed down the line or around the circle without letting go of either hand.
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A trick like this isn’t as simple as it appears. The goal is to catch the hula hoop on its way down as they throw it straight up in the air. While your kids are struggling with this one, onlookers might want to keep a safe distance.