Equipment in the Early Childhood Classroom – Hoops

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 6 – 15th August 2005

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  This is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

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Inspirational Message of the Week

. “It takes a strong fish to swim against the current. Even a dead one can float with it.” John Crowe

Equipment in the Early Childhood classroom – Hoops

When conducting PDs I am often asked where I get my equipment from so I thought I’d do a series of articles on using equipment and also, where to access it or how to make it. 

Do you avoid using hoops because you don’t know what to do with them, or because you can’t buy any decent, durable hoops?   I have the solution to both problems.

You can make them yourself, or have someone make them for you.  Go to any irrigation retail outlet and buy a 50 m coil of Vinidex polyethylene pressure pipe 16 mm.  It is probably only available in black, but you can always decorate it with coloured tape if black doesn’t appeal.  If they will sell you less, that’s even better as 50 m will make almost 100 hoops.  You might need to organize a few other centres/schools to work with you on this to share costs and hoops.  Cut it into lengths so that the inside diameter of the hoop measures approximately 53 cm.  Put a little piece of dowel into either end so you have something to punch the industrial staples into to hold the whole thing together, making sure no dowel is visible and that staples are secure and flat.  Voila ‘ a hoop!

Now that you have enough hoops for each child (and you) to have one, you can begin.  For toddlers, stand it up (and hold it) so they can crawl through (spatial awareness).  For older children have them hold it above their heads (palms outwards).  Quickly bring the arms in so the hoop drops to the ground without touching them (spatial awareness). (see drawing) 

(Thanks to Debbie Paterson of Gymbaroo WA for this idea ‘ Illustration by Jennifer Rawlinson from Kidz-Fiz-Biz Book 2)

Walk on top of hoop (balance).

Jump into and out of forwards, backwards, sideways (spatial awareness, gross motor co-ordination, positional and directional terms).  Make sure children take off and land simultaneously, landing with heels slightly raised.  Make sure the surface is not slippery.

Do straddle jumps all the way around forwards and backwards avoiding developing a gallop. 

A collection of hoops is great for playing hopscotch.  Instead of having each child go up and down, have them jump around at the top then jump out backwards.  That means the line is only going one way, and children can go back to the end of the line again to have another turn.  Ideally have two adults to supervise this and even have two hopscotch rows going on.

For more ideas on what to do with hoops, check out the Kidz-Fiz-Biz resource – Book 2.


LIFE IN THE 1500’S ‘ source unknown
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the
water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things
used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

These are interesting…

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath
in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were
starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the
body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the
house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other
sons and men, then the women and finally the children Last of all the
babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose
someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the
bath water.”


“A great presentation, most useful.”  Bev Ross, kindergarten teacher, Melbourne

Love the ideas for making the resources ‘ hoops, ribbons and tapping sticks.”  Cleonie Boyd, Geraldton

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she has taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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