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Hoop It Up

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Two great games for grades K-5 that use hula hoops.
Submitted by Tonya Wicker, Wake County Schools (Raleigh, NC).

Background: Here are two great games that use hula hoops. The first one is for your upper elementary students and the second one can be used with lower grade levels. Have fun!

Triangle Hoopball (Grades 3-5)

Equipment:
- Hula hoops
- Plastic bowling pins
- Slo-mo balls

How We Play It: Using the hula hoops as bases, put them in a triangle formation. The distance between the bases depends on the space you have available and/or the age of your students. Divide your students into groups of three on a team (or six students per game). For a class of 24 students, this will require four different Triangle hoopball games. One team is the kicking team and the other team is stationed in the outfield. The first person on the kicking team kicks the rolled (slo-mo) ball, runs and tags inside Hoop #1, then Hoop #2, and then Hoop #3, without stopping.

The outfield team must retrieve the ball and pass it to each team member. Once all three players have touched the ball, the ball is rolled toward a bowling pin located near Hoop #3.

Scoring: If the kicker makes it home first, the kicking team earns a point. If the bowling pin is knocked over first, the fielding team scores a point. After all three team members have had a chance to kick, players switch places.

Teacher Tip: We have found that using a ball (such as a slo-mo ball, nerf soccer ball) that has a restricted flight increases the amount of time our students are active using kicking, throwing, and catching skills.

Variations:As a variation, (1) use striking skills (i.e., bat or raquet) or throwing skills to advance the ball into the field, and/or (2) Instead of trying to knock the bowling pin over, the outfield team can be required to place the ball in Hoop #3 before the runner gets there.

Hula Hoop Round Up (Grades K-2)

Equipment:
- Beanbag for every student
- 12-15 hula hoops
- 12 small cones

How We Play It: Use the cones to mark off large circle about 30-feet in diameter (about the size of a large parachute). Put 12-15 hula hoops scattered inside the cone circle. Each student has a beanbag. On the the teacher’s signal, the students move counterclockwise around the outside of the cones performing a designated locomotor skill (jogging, skipping, galloping, sliding, etc.). On the signal “Freeze,” all of the students stop and turn facing the hula hoops.

On your signal, “Ready, Toss,” all students use an underhand throw and toss their beanbag into one of the hula hoops. The object of this tossing activity is to “round up” the hula hoops. Any hula hoop that has two or more beanbags inside it is removed from inside the circle area. Allow the students to retrieve their beanbags after removing the hoops. The game continues with the teacher calling out a different locomotor movement and the students “freezing” and tossing their beanbags into the available hoops. The game ends when all of the hoops have been removed.

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