A small group of students lift a hula hoop above their heads.
Lesson plan

Warm-up Exercise with Hula Hoop

Play with a hula hoop to encourage participation among peers in PE.

In this activity 2 or 3 students hold on to a hula hoop and slowly raise it above their heads and lower it.  The same type of activity can be done with a parachute with a larger group.  Planning a physical education activity will depend on the level of the individual student, as well as how many others are in the group.  Warm-up exercises can be done in large or small groups, at home or at school. The goal of this particular activity is to complete the exercise with one or two peers.  In addition to addressing physical fitness, this activity also works on social skills, recreation and leisure, postitional concepts (up, down, next to, left, right), fast/slow.

Before beginning the activity, be sure that you are aware of any medical issues, such as shunts, seizure disorders, or any physical restrictions.  Check with the child’s parents or physical therapist before introducing this activity.


  1. Invite a small group of 2-3 students to hold on to a single hula hoop, with a comfortable amount of space between each of them.
  2. When everyone is holding on, ask them to lift the hula hoop up and lower it slowly. Provide support, as needed.
  3. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Encourage the students to be increasingly independent each time, so that they will eventually be able to hold the hula hoop independently and do the repetitions without assistance.

By Charlotte Cushman

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