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5 Totally Great Games to Play with a Hula Hoop

boy jumping through hula hoop held by adult

Think a hula hoop is only good for…well, hula hooping? We’ve got some awesome games that will change the way you look at these plastic circular toys. Whether it’s just you and your child or a group of his little friends, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Best of all, you can adjust each game for the number of children playing, along with their age ranges and ability levels.

Get out there and have a hooping good time with these five games:

1. Block the Beanbag

Set two hula hoops on the grass and grab a beanbag (or small ball). To play, stand in one hoop and have your child stand in the other. Take turns trying to land the beanbag in each other’s hoop while the other player tries to block the throw.

For older players, try to block without using hands, and feel free to add more hoops for additional children.

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2. Hula-Hoop Basketball

Is the grown-up net at the playground too high for your little sports lover? Make your own! Hang the hoop on a low-lying tree branch (you can loop some string to help) and let your child throw a ball through the hoop to his heart’s content. For younger players, start out low and move the hoop to a higher branch as they get the hang of it.

Photo by Natalie Jeffcott / Stocksy United / 110141
Photo by Natalie Jeffcott / Stocksy United

3. Hoops Obstacle Course

If you’re spending the day at the beach—or heading to a playground with plenty of sand—make your own obstacle course by burying the bottom third of a few hula hoops in the sand and having your child tunnel through, hop over, or run circles around them.

No sand to be found? Lay the hula hoops on the ground and create fun rules for hopping in and out of them—like hopping on one foot or spinning in a circle. For younger players, try holding up the hoop and having them step through it.

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4. Ring Around the Bottle

Have a soft spot for the classic fairway game? Introduce it to your little one by setting up a few milk jugs or plastic bottles full of water on the grass a few feet apart. Have him try to toss the hoop to land on top of one of the bottles and repeat! For older players, start moving the hoop further and further away from the bottles for a bigger challenge.

Photo by Partha Pal / Stocksy United / 991094
Photo by Partha Pal / Stocksy United

5. Rolling Hoop Catch

Show your child how to roll the hula hoop along the ground and have her try to catch it before it falls to the ground. Roll it back and forth, counting how many times you can catch and roll without letting it rest.

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