There are infinite fun things you can do with hoops as props and tools for movement play- beyond the traditional & popular ’spinning it around you’ concept. Here are some of my favorites: You can make a ‘hoopscotch’ course on the ground and then jump through them one by one- or toss a hacky sac or small bean bag into the hoop path, seeing where it lands, then come up with a movement phrase to get from the start to the finish to swipe the toy and keep on going. Along the same lines you can come up with different rhythms to stomp out as you hop through the hoops, or set guidelines as to how to move (i.e. like a frog, salamander, salsa dancer etc.) through the hoopscotch route.
Some other activities and games involving hoops on the ground are as follows: Folks can make beautiful geometric patterns by expanding the circles out from a central point (think hoop mandalas, or visions like a kaleidoscope). I was originally exposed to the hoops as mandalas concept by my hooping ‘mother,’ KaRa Ananda~ thanks, KaRa! The game of ‘musical hoops’ (a serious favorite among many children) is super fun & active~ if you don’t mind a little friendly competition: Spread the hoops out across a room or open space, turn music on, and have people run around but not inside of or through the hoops until the music stops (with no hovering around one hoop, either). Once the music stops people have to safely and speedily get there bottoms onto the ground inside of a hoop. One way to help prevent potentially dangerous clashing of bodies and fights around ‘winners’ is to state ahead of time that if two people land sitting in one hoop, they are both out…unless one of the two voluntarily takes themselves out of the game. This generally encourages folks to not go towards a hoop that someone else is already nearing. ‘Duck-Duck-Hoop’ is also a fun game- and can be helpful with children who are a little bit younger since it’s so simple. A couple more games I like to play with young people are: Tunnel of Hoops (with many variations on ways to travel through the hoops vertically), Freeze Hoop (like Freeze Dance, but with hoops), and Hoopy Globes- *if you have a bunch of hoops* you can try to get them into a free-standing sphere on the ground that is stunning to behold- and also sometimes possible to actually get inside of to sit, meditate, and/or pose for a picture!
A very simple activity that sparks serious creativity and imagination is pictured above: creating pictures on the ground with hoops- i.e. huge stick figures using a combination of hoops and sticks or other found items. I played this game with my 4 year old nephew and he got super into the process, coming up with amazing ideas completely on his own. That same day of play we also brought a couple chairs and blankets outside, added a hoop to the end of the chair that we laid blankets atop- and created our very own fort that had a beautiful circular entryway. Who doesn’t want to travel through the shape of a circle? To me, it simply feels really good. And safe, too. : )
What are ways that YOU like to hoop play?