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Large Motor Activities for Preschoolers Using a Hula Hoop

by Kathryn Hatter

Large motor skills are the actions and activities that control the large muscles in the body. As a young child grows, the large motor skills begin with rolling over and sitting. Eventually the child progresses to walking and running. Preschoolers need continual encouragement and expansion of large motor skills to help them learn skills such as jumping, climbing, skipping, throwing and catching. Teach large motor activities for preschoolers using a hula hoop.

Jumping Into Hula Hoops

Hula hoops positioned flat on the ground can provide a variety of jumping games for preschoolers. Give each child a hula hoop and have each child stand facing the hula hoop on the ground in front of him. Begin by encouraging the children to step in and out of the hula hoops. As children gain proficiency moving in and out, suggest jumping in and out of the hula hoops. As children learn jumping, suggest hopping or skipping in and out of the hula hoops.

Rotating Hula Hoops

Rotating hula hoops around the midsection requires practice and skill, but even young children can master ways of rotating the hoops. Show the children how to hold the hula hoop in one hand and extend their arms straight out. Demonstrate how to position the hula hoop on their wrists and how to begin moving their arms up and down to make the hula hoop rotate. Allow the children to become proficient at rotating the hula hoops around their wrists. Suggest switching arms so both arms get equal exercise. Children might also enjoy trying to rotate the hula-hoops around their necks, legs and midsections.

Hula Hoop Obstacle Course

A simple hula hoop obstacle course can provide preschoolers with ample opportunities for gross motor skill development. Begin with a simple obstacle course of six hula hoops positioned about 8 inches apart in a straight line on the ground. Create a starting line and finishing line and encourage the children to jump or hop from one hoop to the next from the starting line to the finishing line. When the children reach the finishing line, have them turn around and return to the starting line. Make the obstacle course more challenging by spreading the hoops farther apart and positioning them in a variety of configurations.

Musical Hula Hoops

By adding music to hula hoop play, you can increase the children’s energy and enjoyment. Provide each preschooler with a hula hoop and show the children the basics of rotating their hula hoops, if necessary. Tell the children that you are going to begin playing music and that as long as they hear music, they must continue rotating their hula hoops. Explain that when the music stops, they must stop rotating the hoops and hold them without moving. When you start the music again, they should resume moving the hula hoops again. Play the music for a variety of intervals, from a few seconds to longer intervals -- depending on the children's proficiency with the hoops.

References

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • little girl and hoop image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com