If the hula hoop brings back childhood memories of dancing in the backyard, jumping rope and hula contests, you’ll enjoy introducing your preschooler to some hoop activities. You don’t need to be able to swing your hips or sway from side to side, just be willing to try some fun activities and get ready to laugh. Your preschooler will probably be impressed with what moves you do have.
Believe it or not, hula hoops can be educational. If your preschooler loves bubbles, amaze him by letting him be the boy in the bubble. Fill a small plastic pool with some homemade bubble solution. Have your child stand inside the pool in the center of the hula hoop and slowly lift the hoop around him, forming the bubble. Use a hoop to define an area for exploration in the grass. Give your child a magnifying glass and let your little scientist investigate the world inside the hoop. Roll the hoops around and discuss ideas about speed and gravity: “Wow! You rolled that really fast, look how long it stays standing up.
When do you think it will fall?”Make Believe
Preschoolers are great at using their imaginations to “make believe.” Put on your seat belts and get ready for a good time. Using hula hoops as steering wheels, “drive” around the yard, trying to stay clear of other drivers. Act like bunnies or frogs and have races hopping with hula hoops across the yard. Pretend the hoop is a horse-drawn carriage and your child can act like a horse and “pull” along a passenger standing inside the hoop. Be prepared for lots of whinnying and croaking as your child pretends to be different animals.
Hula hoops are a convenient prop to have around for game time. Avoid a chaotic game of football in the house by hanging a hula hoop from a doorway in a spot away from any breakables and make a game of tossing balls or beanbags through the hoop. Use a hoop to play ring around the rosie and encourage your kids to keep holding the hoop as “they all fall down.” If you’re in the mood for a little hokey-pokey, teach your preschooler to place her body parts in and out of the hoop according to the song. If you’re outside, a game of hula-hoop horseshoes or a game of catch with hula hoops will burn some energy and keep your child entertained in the backyard.
Jumping, Rolling, Running and Dancing
Preschoolers love to run. Grab some hula hoops, get outside and show your preschooler how to roll the hoop on its side then run after it and catch it. If you have a bunch of kids from the neighborhood over, you can roll it back and forth to each other to music. Whoever has the hoop when the music stops is out. Use a whole bunch of hula hoops to create a hopscotch game. Take turns tossing a beanbag and hopping through hoops to wherever it lands. Get down with your best dance moves and have a dance-off with your child. Turn up the music and see who can hula the longest or who has the most creative dance moves using the hoop.