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This activity is  like an obstacle course. It focuses on gross motor skills while getting heart rates going and muscles working hard. Try endless combinations for fun, coordination, and agility!

Skills Areas Addressed (See Glossary):

  • Motor control.
  • Balance.
  • Coordination.
  • Gross motor skills.

What You Will Need:

  • Hula hoops, or if you don't have hula hoops, or enough of them, just draw "tires" with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway.

What to Do:

Use the patterns below to lay out the hula hoops. Or, draw circles with chalk. Have your child move through them using the directions below.

  • Pattern 1: Jump with both feet, with one foot landing in each tire. Next, try one foot at a time as if running, but make sure to hit every tire with either the right or left foot.
  • Pattern 2: Jump with two feet together, landing in each hoop.  Then see if your child can try hopping on one foot in each hoop (first with the left then with the right).
  • Pattern 3: Try jumping and hopping using pattern 2 but in diagonal patterns. Your child can also try leaping from hoop to hoop!
  • Pattern 4: Jump like in classic hopscotch (one foot, then two feet, then one foot, and then two feet). Try placing a toy in one of the tires and asking your child to go around that tire before picking it up on his way back — just like the real game!

Hula Hoop Patterns

How to Change it Up:

  • Hula hoops might be too big of a challenge for our littlest friends. Try using circles cut from construction paper or paper plates as the "tires." This will give kids less distance to travel on their way through the course.
  • Try playing "Red Light, Green Light" during this activity. When hopping or jumping, see if they can stop on command and "freeze" for an extra balance challenge.
  • You can do this in any direction (backwards, sideways). You also can set up two tire courses side by side to make it a race and double the fun!
  • Vary the distances between the hoops for greater challenge.

Safety Note: Tape the hula hoops, paper pieces, or paper plates at the bottom so they stick to the floor.

Explore More Activities Like This!

Explore more activities to promote development in children, and check out our health center for children.

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This content is provided in collaboration with The Inspired Treehouse.

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