Hula hoops are an inexpensive toy that can really inspire kids (and adults) to be active. You don't need the weighted hoops marketed for adults to exercise with; these hula hoop games work with any kind of hoop. Experiment with hoop sizes with kids. They may actually find they can spin a larger hoop more easily than a smaller one.
Getting a hula hoop to spin around your waist can be a good physical challenge! See if your kids can do it. Once they get the hang of it, they can try to spin for longer periods of time, or do other tricks like walking while spinning, shifting the hoop up to their necks and back down, spinning a hoop—or two—on their outstretched arms, standing on one leg while spinning, and so on.
2. Hula Hoop PassThis is another classic hula hoop game. You need a group of players. Have everyone stand in a line or circle holding hands. Give the first person the hoop looped over one arm. Players must pass the hoop down the line or around the circle without letting go of one another's hands.
3. Up, Down, Under, OverThis hula hoop game is also for a group of players. Have three or four kids stand inside a large hoop, holding it up at waist level without using their hands. Challenge them to lift the hoop up to their necks or down to their ankles—hands-free. Or, see if they can get the whole group from inside the hoop to outside, without grabbing the hoop or letting it touch the floor.
4. Target PracticeSet hoops on the ground or prop them against a wall or tree and use as targets for beanbags, water balloons, foam darts, and so on. Or you can tie a hoop onto a rope and hang it from a playset or tree branch. Make it swing for a more challenging target to aim at.
5. Roll Along
Back in Colonial times, kids used sticks to roll upright hoops along the ground. See if your kids can do the same, rolling the hoop along the ground with their hands or a stick. How far can they go without the hoop falling down? Once they master this skill, up the challenge by drawing a chalk line for them to follow with the hoop, or adding obstacles (such as small traffic cones, plastic bowling pins, or even lawn chairs) for them to slalom around.