The fascination began at a Willy Nelson concert. My husband and I had not been out much in the past few years, busy with four young children, occupied by infants, diapers, sleepless nights, and all that comes with raising a herd of children. Then, an opportunity arose for us to ‘get out of town’ and we took full advantage and traveled to an outdoor concert at a popular venue (with just one infant in tow). We packed our lawn chairs and overnight bags and headed off to an evening of music a couple towns away. Right from the start, we found ourselves entertained by watching the swarms of people. Some were dressed in Willy Nelson pigtail braids, some in full out hippie-style garb. Others just blended in with the hundreds of people enjoying a night of music outdoors.
The bands were great, but my favorite attraction was the hula hoopers. A tribe of women, set in motion with the music. They made their art look effortless as they danced and conversed through hours of evening entertainment, all while keeping in motion their mystical hoops.
My own limited experience with a hula hoop took my memory back to elementary school and the thin, striped hoops that I could never get in motion.
I wanted to tap into this secret. The power of the internet revealed a wealth of information on the sub-culture of hooping. There are online videos, tutorials, and classes sharing ways to build, purchase, and learn the basic and advanced moves of hula hooping. One quiet day, home with my children, I took the leap. Not having any other pressing plans (besides the usual mundane chores of a domestic life) I pulled myself away from the computer and said to my children, “We are making hula hoops today!”
We found a basic tutorial on how to make a hula hoop from simple materials (black flexible irrigation tubing and duct tape). We made an entertaining trip to the hardware store, then spent the afternoon assembling and decorating a set of hula hoops right in our living room. We also invited over some neighbors, because fun is always enhanced by good company. By the afternoon we were all in motion — living room hoopers — blazing our trail in the culture of hoops. So now, we pull our hoops from the closet on rainy or snowed-in days and crank up the music. We bring them along on outdoor gatherings with friends to keep children (and grown ups) entertained, and we pull them out at birthday parties. I have accumulated a complete set of hoops for my kindergarten class and we spend time each week working our core body muscles while having lots of fun indoors or out. The possibilities are endless. Hula hooping adds a little spice to your life. I encourage you to give it a try. If nothing else you will make someone smile with your efforts.
So to get you started, here are some great links to learn the basics of making your first hula hoop.
:: Hula Hooping Resources
:: Family Fun
:: Video – Making a Hula Hoop- Elizabeth Mitchell
Megan Devine is a mother, early childhood educator, and lifelong learner. When she does not have children in tow, you might find her investigating a bee hive, gardening, writing, cross-country skiing, or reading a book about how to save the world. Megan and her husband James keep their friends and neighbors continually entertained as they craft a rich life on their ever-expanding hobby farm on the edge of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with their four children: Zoe, Otto, Wyatt, and Boden. Megan chronicles her daily adventures at “Kids and Eggs“.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do.