Suitable for:

  • 1 or more players
  • Outdoor or indoor area
  • Range of physical literacy: multi movements
  • Age appropriate: 3-7 years

Primary physical literacy skills: side stepping, jumping,
hopping, core body strength

Make it happen

Using one hoop per child, come up with ideas for how many active things can be done safely with a hoop. Think of ways to combine hoop movements, repeat them individually or include them into an obstacle course or other activity.

NB: If the hoop is placed on a hard surface, we advise not to jump in and out of it or run around it as it is possible it can become a slip hazard if a child lands on the edge.

Some ideas:


  • Lay it on grass and jump into the hoop. Turn around and jump out again.
  • Walk around the perimeter of the hoop in pigeon steps or skip around it.
  • Tight-rope walk along the edge of the hoop.
  • Raise the hoop over the head and lower it down the body and then step through it.
  • Roll the hoop out of your hand on its edge for the child to chase after it.
  • Step through (need more than one person) – one person holds the hoop up vertically so that the child can step through it and circle back round to keep stepping through it.
  • Scatter objects around the garden and time how long it takes your child to collect them and place them in the hoop (see Make it safebelow).



  • Lay it on the grass and jump forwards and backwards with two feet in and out of the hoop.
  • Stand outside the hoop facing in towards it. Sidestep or side gallop around it to the left and then rotate around to the right to practice leading with both feet (don’t cross feet over).
  • Hop into the hoop. Change legs, then turn around and hop out again.
  • Hula-hoop it around the waist. Lots of practice normally required – try to establish a constant, circular, rhythmic, swirling movement with the core of the body rather than a jerky one.
  • Hold it loosely in the hands and then swing it overhead like a skipping rope and step through it.
  • Spin the hoop on its edge – see how many times they can make it spin
  • Roll the hoop out of your hand with backspin so that it comes back towards you. The child can try and catch the hoop before it falls over. See if they can try and make it come back to them.

  • Ensure that the movement the children are performing is suitable for the space you have available.
  • When hopping or jumping always bend knees upon landing.
  • We advise not to place the hoop on a hard surface as it is possible it could become a slip hazard if a child stands or lands on the edge.
  • Warn about the risk of collisions if more than one child running around collecting objects.
  • Show children how to bend knees and reach in from the side when picking objects off the ground or placing them in the hoop (i.e. don’t bend over with head down – keep head out of the way).

We provide this list only as a guide of what parents/carers may wish to consider. Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

Expand the headings below for suggestions to make more use of this activity and keep you and your children coming back for more

  • Think of different things the hoop could represent, a pond, a flying saucer, a cave, a whirlpool
  • Leaper’s theme: Bouncy takes us to his warren. Pretend the hoop is a rabbit hole and we are visiting another world (like Alice in Wonderland) when we jump in it or step through it.

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • For each exercise/activity with the hoop set some targets to achieve in a time limit. Some ideas: how many times can a child jump in and out of the hoop in 20 seconds? how long does it take them to step through the hoop 10 times?
  • How many different exercises/activities can they think of to do with the hoop?

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Always make sure whatever equipment you are using is safe and appropriate for that use

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Put a sequence of hoop exercises together with the children that use as many different parts of the body as possible. Some ideas: stepping in and out of it with knees lifted high, jumping in and out, running around it, bending down to pick it up and bending to step through it, hula-hooping it around the trunk of the body, etc.
  • Instead of using the hoop like a skipping rope, use a skipping rope. Skipping with a rope is a very beneficial and fun way to get exercise and develops coordination, balance and core body strength.

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

Use of the resources

This move to improve resource is provided as a guideline only for parents and carers who wish to supervise physical activities for their children. Users of this resource have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their participants. We do not endorse the use of any content in this resource that a user feels may present a risk to the safety or well being of the children in their care.