I am going to post a couple videos that have some great ideas of things that you can pull and use at home or at the gym to incorporate hula-hoop! Most kids these days actually don't even know how to hula-hoop so these can be great introductions to them.
Now, most gyms won't have bleachers, but I love to tie the hula hoops to different areas of my gym to make baskets and targets. You can tie them between parallel bars, hang them from the bars or beams, etc. I always make sure to emphasize that these skills build to bigger gymnastics skills later! They not only help with hand eye coordination, but they also build grip strength for bars.
Most of the basketball/baseball games they describe will be too much for a preschooler though in this video, but you can for sure do those with your school-aged kiddos!
I liked this video because it goes over fun ideas on how to actually teach hula-hooping. Again, more for school-aged. With hula hoops on the ground, you can also do musical chairs but with hula hoops using different ways to go around as she demonstrates.
Now, for those preschoolers (and parent-tots), here are some of my FAVORITE grab and go activities!
1) FETCH! Have grown-up or coach just roll the hoop and kiddo has to run (or skip, or gallop) to go catch it and bring it back! For more of a challenge, kiddo needs to catch up and go through the hoop while it is moving!
2) Hoops make great boundaries! Set up a station inside your hoop! Grip changes for bars holding the side of the hoop, stretching inside, push-up hold inside, etc. It works even better if you have those velcro arrows or lines so that you can stick the hula-hoop to the ground. It takes away the temptation that most kids will have.
I also use the hoops as a transitional tool sometimes. It turns into our space ship and everyone has to grab hold as we travel to our next station. Helps to keep all your kiddos with you!
3) Spin and stick! I do this one sometimes for warm-ups and vaulting stations. I spin or toss the hoop and the student needs to run and jump into the middle and show me their "stick-it position".
4) Through the tunnel! Have a friend hold it while you go through. Remember that importance on crawling? Try to emphasize those crawling moments! For parent and tot classes, I will line up the parents with their hoops so that there is a tunnel of hoops for the tots to go through.
Do you have more ideas of things to do with hula-hoops? Do you have something else you would like some extra ideas on? Feel free to email me at email@example.com