We are officially one week away from the first day of Spring! Can you feel it?! Sunshine and rain, flowers blooming, Spring break, and energetic little students who can’t sit still (Ha!) I know, Spring in the classroom is exciting and one of the best times to break out all of the fun, hands-on, super engaging activities that you have on hand! I have an idea that you may have never thought of. Hear me out…Hula Hoops! I know that sounds tricky. How in the world are you supposed to use Hula Hoops in the classroom? Well, I have five Hula Hoop math activity ideas for you!
These are math activities that we use in our 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade Magic of Math curriculum that you could recreate in your classroom! Hula hoops work great because they’re inexpensive (you can get them from the dollar store!) and what kid doesn’t love playing with hula hoops?! After you’re done using these for your math lessons, you can let your students have a go at it during recess!
Here’s a look at using hula hoops in the classroom.
When it comes to division, the most important thing to portray for students is sharing equally. Using hula hoops as groups and some other manipulatives as objects, you can pose division problems for your students. Use the examples to discuss what would happen if we don’t share equally, how to write division equations, and model how to draw equations. If you’re curious about the printables I used for this math activity idea, check out Magic of Math Unit 9 for 2nd grade HERE.
Place two hula hoops on the floor and you’ll have ample space for sorting shapes! You can print out shape cards, hand them to your students, and have them sort them into two categories such as flat sides versus curved sides. Alternatively, you can focus on the type of shape like polygon versus not polygon. The options are endless with this one and easy-peasy!
Do you practice making clocks with your students when it’s time to teach time? Why not make a class clock using a hula hoop! Simply print out large numbers to place around the clock and you can use yarn to demonstrate partitioning the clock into four equal parts! For this activity, I used materials from my 2nd grade Magic of Math time unit.
I LOVE this math activity idea using hula hoops because it is PERFECT for Spring when you can take it outside! I like to use balloons for extra fun! For this activity, students will be ordering, rounding, and corralling numbers in groups of 5. Add numbers to each balloon (you need as many balloons as you have students) and spread them out, each student then needs to move their number over to their group corner, after each has their number, they must work together to order them. Then, students will round their numbers based on the order. Finally, using hula hoops you will place labels for each multiple of 10 inside the hula hoops. Then, students must place their number in the correct tens corral! There’s no question that your students will have a blast with this hula hoop activity, especially when balloons are involved!
Something I love about using hula hoops in the classroom is they are great for creating a 3D Venn diagram! For math, you can use hula hoops to compare 3D shapes! In this example, students will gather objects from around the classroom and place them into the hula hoops under the labels round, flat, or both based on the shape. You should allow the students to make observations, name their objects, and determine where the object should be placed and why. This is a perfect way to get your students moving for a great cause and it’s super simple but effective!
Sometimes you can make magic using some of the simplest things in life! These math activity ideas using hula hoops are a great way to practice comparisons, division, time, and rounding while keeping your students’ attention with minimal effort and low investment.
Let me know how these activities work for you by tagging me on all your socials! Looking for more math activity ideas using odd objects? Check out THIS post for using pipe cleaners!