The hula hoop, with origins in ancient Egypt, still brings amusement into children’s lives today. Teens may enjoy a good old-fashioned hula hoop contest, but you can also use hula hoops to play an array of other exciting games. Some hula hoop games yield the additional benefit of promoting teen fitness by improving core strength and encouraging cardiovascular exercise.
1. Backyard Games
When teens are bored on lazy summer days, challenge them with a few hula hoop games in the backyard. Have a bubble-making contest with a hula hoop, a plastic kids’ pool and dish detergent. Fill the pool with a two-to-one ratio of dish soap to water and place the hoop inside. Slowly raise the hoop to form a giant bubble. Or, play a game of toss with a bean bag or a ball and several hula hoops scattered around the grass. Award different point values to the hoops, increasing the value of hoops that are further away from the foul line. Bring a radio outside and play musical hoops, where kids hoop until the music stops.
2. Relay Races
Hula hoops are useful props for conducting relay races with a group of teens. Split the group into two teams of three or more players, and instruct each team to form a line and hold hands. Give the players on one end of each team a hula hoop, and challenge them to pass the hoop to the other end of the chain without letting go of teammates’ hands. The first team to pass the hoop to the end wins. Or, create your own relay race and make it extra-challenging by requiring teens to hula hoop throughout each leg of the race.
3. Team-Building Games
Hula hoops make for interesting team-building games that promote collaboration and communication. Play “Fingertip Hula Hoop” by arranging three to four teens in a circle. Instruct everyone to hold two fingers out on each hand. Have the teens raise their palms up above the shortest player’s head, keeping players’ hands at an even level. Place a hula hoop onto their fingertips and challenge them to lower it down to the ground without anyone’s fingertips coming off the hoop. Or, use hoops to play a three-legged game of hopscotch with teams.
4. Games for Exercise
Encourage healthy physical activity with fast-paced hula hoop contests that double as cardiovascular exercise. Challenge teens to use hoops like jump ropes and see who can hop through their hoop the most times within 60 seconds. Encourage teens to try and execute different dance moves as they hula hoop, or challenge them to try and get the hoop going from other body parts, such as wrists and ankles.