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Happy hooping

Have a hul-of a time stooping your way through these hula-hooping challenges, testing your core and co-ordination.

You will need

  • Something to mark lines (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
  • Four small or medium-sized gymnastics hula-hoops (per group)
Six week happy hooping development plan
PDF – 127.0KB
Physical activity record sheet
PDF – 418.1KB

Before you begin

  • This activity works best when run in groups of between six and eight people. Large groups could divide up and run this activity simultaneously. Make sure there’s enough leaders, adult volunteers or Young Leaders for each activity group.
  • For guidance on basic hula-hooping, see the ‘Six week happy hooping development plan'.

Run the activity

  1. Run ‘thread the hoop’. Everyone should stand in a circle holding hands or linking arms in the activity space. Make sure there’s plenty of room to move about.
  1. Choose two people to uncouple and have one of them put their free arm through the hula-hoop. Then they should hold hands again, so that the hoop is threaded into the circle.
  2. Everyone should then work together to move the hoop around the circle. They should do this without uncoupling from the people beside them. Each person should duck and step through the hoop sideways to shuffle the hoop along until it’s done a full circuit.
  3. Now, challenge the group to pass the hoop around as quickly as possible. Add another hoop heading in the opposite direction to make things tougher.
  1. Move outside if possible and run the ‘human ring toss’. You’ll need to run this somewhere where there’s plenty of space. Mark out a starting point, then spots three metres away, six metres away and nine metres away. Everyone should get into two or three teams. Have a volunteer from each team stand on the three-metre mark.
  2. The teams should line up alongside one another at the starting point. The people at the front should be given a hula-hoop. When everyone’s ready, they should take turns throwing their hoop so it lands around the person on the three-metre mark. When they do this successfully, their target person should move to the six-metre mark. The first team to hoop their target at all three distances is the winner.
  3. Have anyone interested in further developing their hula-hooping skills take with them a ‘Physical activity record sheet’ and a copy of the ‘Six week happy hooping development plan’ to help them plan out a training schedule. This could be adjusted to include other physical skills that the person wants to develop.


Benefits of developing hula-hooping include improved balance and co-ordination, as well as a strengthened core. Can anyone think of any other sports or activities that may become easier as a result of developing this skill? Some examples might be horse-riding, gymnastics disciplines and dance.


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.