Creative Uses Of Hula Hoops

I am always on the lookout for fun ways to reach my students...unfortunately too often these creative ideas mean spending more money! How exciting is it, however, when you find a great idea that utilizes items that you already have!  One go-to item that seems to get a lot of use in my classroom is a hula hoop.  I did not realize it until I pulled out this versatile little piece of play ground equipment for the second time this week, how many uses it can have.  Of course it is a favorite for recess time and gym time, but it can also be very handy during classroom instruction.  One of my first alternative uses for a hula hoop came a few years ago when I started using hula hoops for venn diagrams.  It is funny how simply turning this graphic organizer into a larger scale,  hands-on activity increases engagement of your class.  I have had students write their own ideas to compare/contrast with the hoop venn diagrams onto sentence strips or given them various pre-written cards to sort onto the hoops.  A great learning tool for so many age levels.

This week I used the hoops for two different purposes.  The first was to practice telling time.  With just a simple clock label printable and a hoop your students can practice telling time on a white board or outside on the concrete!  My students love to play a game where one student must draw a time card and reads the time to a partner, while the partner creates that time on the large hula hoop clock.  This simple activity is a great time filler or independent center.  I have included a free printable of clock labels and matching cards to enable you to create this game!  Simply click the link below:

Finally, I used hula hoops this week to give students a concrete example of division.  I have been introducing division to a group of special needs students and have already read and practiced sharing cookies along with the book The Doorbell Rang.  It was evident that my students still needed some time with real, tangible examples of division to go along with the "deal it out" strategy of division.  To do this I brought out the good old hula hoops again and had them create large examples of various division problems.  For example, if a student drew a card that asked them to solve 15 divided by 3 they would grab 3 hula hoops and 15 sharing items (we used erasers only because I had so many of these).  They would then begin dealing out the items equally into the 3 hoops to see how many each hoop would get.  Students finally copied the problem and answer onto a separate sheet of paper to use as a formative assessment.

I would love to hear more of your ideas on using hula hoops, or any other objects commonly found in classrooms for unique learning opportunities!   


  1. I've used hula hoops as Venn diagrams also! They're also great as center "fences". Put all your supplies for a center inside a hula hoop with the rule that they are to stay there. It's large enough for a group of kids to sit around, and makes clean-up a snap!

  2. This is such a creative idea, love it! I'm going to think of some ways I can use this prop in a secondary lesson too!


  3. I also like to use hula hoops for Venn Diagrams. They'd be great for brain breaks, too! Allow students to hula hoop for a minute or 2.

  4. Great ideas! I have seen using hula hoops as a boundary for students to use for independent reading time, but I love the idea of using them to keep center materials organized as well Natalie! And using them for a brain break - anything to keep students up and moving! Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

  5. I just put a video up on my Facebook about using two plastic rings I have (not quite hula hoops, but hula hoops could be used). I tape them to my white board and have kids throw things and right now we have "splat balls." Kind of hard to explain, but here's the link to the video lol: Daisy Designs Facebook Video: Splat Balls

  6. I'm visiting you from the TpT forum! I pinned this link! I love the blog post idea!

  7. Great link-up idea! I'm following.


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