Round Out Your Rehearsal with Hula Hoops!

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Keith Pate

As featured in this month’s Greenhouse Newsletter, we are featuring an article by Keith Pate, one of our very first Growing in Grace curriculum writers and a favorite clinician at children’s choir workshops around the country. He graciously shared a few of his clever hula hoop activities for movement, listening, and musical skills for our Greenhouse Blog and Newsletter subscribers. Here are three hoop games to “round out” your rehearsal:


Musical Hoops

Play as you would musical chairs but with hoops. Start with as many as 8 hoops, depending on the size of your group. You will need one hoop less than the number of children playing. Play a recording of a song you will introduce in a later rehearsal. Children walk around the hoops as the music is played. When the music stops, they must stand inside a hoop. Then, take away one hoop and continue. Play continues until only one child remains in a hoop.

Hoopin’ Rhythm Toss

You will need: 5 hula hoops, rhythm flash cards, and bean bags. Place hoops in a vertical line on the floor. Place a rhythm card or pattern inside each hoop. Number each hoop 1 to 5. Form two teams or play individually. Each child stands at base of the hoops and tosses a bean bag (2 tosses per child). Child claps the pattern inside the hoops where the bean bags land. If correct, he or she receives the number of points of the numbered hoop. Keep individual points or team points to determine winner.

Hoopin’ Instrument Play

You will need: same number of hoops as children, rhythm flash cards, and a recording of a song to play. Place hoops in two parallel lines in the center of room. Place a musical instrument, such as rhythm sticks or a shaker, and 4-beat rhythm flash card inside each hoop. Children walk around the hoops as the music plays. When the music stops, every child kneels outside a hoop. On your cue, (1,2,3, play), they clap or play the rhythm on the card inside the corresponding hoop in front of them. Play continues as long as you designate.

For more suggestions on how to incorporate hula hoops in your children’s music program, here are two PDFs from Keith Pate: Build a Phrase with Hula Hoops and Hoop it Up Handout.

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