Alternate Activity 5: Cooperative Hula Hoop Game
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- One large hula hoop
- Optional: A second large hula hoop
- Sound instrument
Preparation for Activity
- Move to an open area or clear the chairs and tables to make space for everyone to stand in a wide circle.
Description of Activity
The goal of this activity is to teach the children how to work cooperatively together, and how to speak to each other in a supportive manner. A secondary goal is to give the children a kinesthetic activity in which their bodies and minds are engaged and they can get their wiggles out before and after more sedentary activities.
Invite the children to stand together in a circle and hold hands. Tell them:
The objective of this game is for you to successfully pass a hula hoop around the whole circle, without letting go of hands at any time. After I put the hula hoop on the circle, you must not let go at all, until the hula hoop goes all the way around the circle, back to where I start it.
Ask the children what they could do if they need to scratch their nose or pull up their socks during this game. Let them respond. Tell them:
If you need to scratch your nose, you can do it while still holding hands. You just have to ask the person next to you, nicely, so you do not pull on them.
Explain that while they are holding hands they can help each other pass the hula hoop as each child climbs in and out of it. Tell them they will have to all work together to complete this task, and they must speak to each other supportively as they each step in and out of the hula hoop with the help of their neighbors. Say:
If I notice that people are yelling at each other or expressing impatience, not being supportive, I will use the sound instrument. Then everyone will quiet down, and we'll look at the problem together.
The children should eventually figure out that they will be able to pass the hula hoop around the circle by each taking a turn passing it over the head of the person next to them, who then steps out of it, and passes it along the next child's arm, until it has gone around the circle. Even when they are holding hands they will be able to grab and nudge the hula hoop along. If they figure the problem out too quickly, add a second hula hoop going the opposite direction.