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Object Lesson

- Spiritual
Is the excitement of serving
God a whole lot of Hoopla
unnecessary excitement and
fuss? These games using Hula
Hoops are sure to create
excitement but can also be
used to create discussion on
living as a Christian youth
within Gods boundaries.
Games using Hula Hoops
NOTE: If you cant find hula
hoops, plastic tubing can
be shaped into a circle and
secured with duct tape. For
some of the games a circle
of rope will also work.
Antigravity Hula Hoops 5-10
youth form a circle, putting their
hands out in front of them parallel
to the floor index finger
extended (as in a kid making a
gun). Tell them you will be placing
a hula hoop on their fingers and
everyones index fingers must stay
in contact with the hula hoop. The
task is to lower the hula hoop to
the floor. It will inevitably go up
immediately. The only way this
works is if they remain calm and
there is no blame.
Hula Hoop Hand Tag Choose one
player to be It and 4 additional
players for each hoop. Have It
stand in the center of the Hula-
Hoop and the other players outside
the circle. The players alternate
holding the Hula-Hoop first with one
hand and then the other while It
tries to tap a hand. Those on the
outside try to avoid being tapped.
The game is over if players drop the
hoop. Three rules: 1) the holders
must each have one hand on the
hoop at all times, 2)the person who
is It cannot tag a hand that has
been lifted from the hoop, and 3)
whenever a person is tagged, he or
she becomes It.
Hula Hoop Stuff How many
youth can get at least part of their
bodies into a Hula Hoop? Count
fingers, toes, ears-whatever. Better
yet, how many youth can fit inside
a Hula Hoop so that their bodies
dont touch the ground outside
the hoop?
Hula Hoop Tag Spread a few Hula
hoops around the ground. The
hoops are safe zones where youth
cannot be tagged. The idea is to
run between the safe havens
without getting tagged. Set a time
limit on how long people can stay
in the safe zones, and make sure
you have plenty of space between
the hoops.
Hula Relay Each youth on a team
must take a Hula Hoop and hula
while walking or running to a
certain point 20 feet or so from
the team and back. If the Hula
Hoop drops, the player must stop,
get the hoop going again, and
continue. First team to finish wins.
Hula Slide Relay Put the youth in
groups of up to four and have each
group step inside a Hula Hoop. The
youth must move their hoop on
the ground from one point to the
other. If someone trips and steps
out of the hoop, the team has to
start over from the beginning.
Hula Tangled Gather the participants
in a circle and make them hold hands
right at the center. Let one person wear
the hula hoop on the arm. Without
letting go, youth must pass the ring to
one another, until it comes back to the
person who first had it. Variation: do it
without talking.
Keep the Hula Hoops Up Every youth
needs their own hula hoop. The goal is
to keep the hula hoops spinning as
possible using the traditional method
of swinging it around the waist. A
youth is out of the game when their
hula hoop completely hits the floor.
The last person with their hula hoop
moving wins the game. This can also be
played in teams.
Lava Flow Scatter hula hoops
around in a large open space.
Everyone playing has found out that
the floor has become covered in
lava, but only when the leader calls
out lava flow. In the meantime,
the youth are supposed to wander
around the room. When lava flow,
3-2-1 is called, the players need to
find shelter inside a hula hoop
before the countdown ends. As time
goes on, the leader removes hula
hoops and the game gets more and
more difficult as there are more
people per hoop. Feet must touch
the ground inside the hoops to be
safe and everyone must be safe in
order for anyone to win.
Lion tamer Youth step through a
hoop that gets progressively
higher off the ground It is similar
to limbo but keeps getting higher
rather than lower.
Musical Hoops This has the same
basic rules as the traditional game
of musical chairs except no one is
ever out. Spread hula-hoops on
the floor and play lively, fun music.
As you remove the hoops, let the
group know that no one is out. Let
them figure out that they may
share the hoops in order to remain
playing. Its fun to see how many
people can share a hoop.
Sharks Hula Hoops represent
islands. Everyone mills around the
sea until SHARKS is called out
then everyone has to get onto an
island (in a hoop) to be safe,
anyone not on the island is eaten
by a shark and so out of the game.
Remove islands at your pleasure
forcing more and more people out
of the game until you have a
Simon Says Play traditional
Simon Says, but using the hula
hoop as a prop. Simon says jump
in/out of the hula hoop, lift it over
your head, put your hand in the
hoop, balance it on your foot,
Shoes in a Hula-Hoop Youll need
4 or more hula-hoops depending
on the number of groups you want
to have. Each group is given one
Hula Hoop. The 4th hula-hoop is
placed in the middle of the room
and all of the participants shoes
are placed inside of it. Announce:
The purpose of the game is to
have ALL of the ping pong balls in
your hula-hoop. On go all the
youth will scramble to collect as
many shoes as possible.
In the midst of the chaos, the
leader will stop the game and send
people back to their groups to
deliberate on how to better
capture all the shoes. Continue the
game as before. After a while, stop
the game again and mention
teamwork, and the need to join
forces in order to have all the
shoes in ones hoop. The answer to
the game is that all of the teams
put their hula-hoops together, on
top of the Shoe filled hula hoop in
the middle of the room.
Up, Down, Under, Over This hula
hoop game is also for a group of
players. Have three or four youth
stand inside a large hoop, holding
it up at waist level without using
their hands. Challenge them to lift
the hoop up to their necks or
down to their ankles hands-free.
Or, see if they can get the whole
group from inside the hoop to
outside, without grabbing the
hoop or letting it touch the floor.
Main Game Hula Hoop Circle
Ask the youth to stand in a big circle,
slip a hula hoop onto one youths
arm, and have them all join hands.
They then must find a way to move
the hula hoop all the way around the
circle without letting go of each
others hands.
Basic rules:
1. The object of the game is to pass
he hoop around the circle as
quickly as possible.
2. Youth may not let go of the
hands they are holding at any
time. If they lose their grip or let
go, the hula Hoop must start
back at the beginning again.
3. Fingers cannot be used to grip
or move the Hula Hoop
4. The youth must remain in a
circle. Players bend and twist
their bodies through the hoop
to get it around the circle.
5. The fastest group wins.
Important Notes:
1. Glasses may sometimes fall off
and break so those youth
wearing glasses need to remove
them before the game starts.
2. Make sure the hula hoop you use
is big enough for everyone in the
group to fit through so that there
are no awkward moments for
larger sized youth.
3. Youth should be in generally
good shape as some flexibility
and balance will be needed to
complete the task.
Youth may question whether this
challenge is possible, but assure
them that it can be done. Repeat
the process until the team is
satisfied with their time and their
system. Generally, groups get it
down to less than 2 minutes. The
people directly involved work
together to fit their body into the
hoop and those waiting for the hoop
to get to them, watch, give
suggestions and encourage. Once it
has made it around the circle, the
task is complete.
1. Provide two Hoops for each
team. Start the Hoops in the
same location but ask the
group to pass one in a
clockwise direction and the
other in a counterclockwise
direction. When they get to
the midway point there is
usually some confusion.
2. Time the group as they pass
the hoop to see how long it
takes them to get it all the
way around. Allow another
attempt to break the record.
3. Try to do it as one big group.
4. Ask players to stand with their
back toward center of the
5. Ask the youth to complete the
task without talking or while
6. Do it sitting down
7. They have to pass it 2 persons
at a time, 3 at a time?
Have you ever heard of the phrase
Jumping through Hoops? Know
what it means?
Jumping though hoops has typically
meant going to great lengths or
much effort in order to accomplish
People jump through hoops on a
regular basis. Either to fulfill some
kind of requirement to gain
acceptance into a group, to meet
some kind of standard to satisfy
others, to follow some set of rules.
1. What are some of the hoops in
your life that you have had to jump
2. Are there hoops we jump through
as Christians? In the church? In the
youth group?
3. What are the expectations for each
of these groups?
4. Are these hoops good or bad?
5. Do some people have more to deal
with than others? If so, why?
6. Are hoops necessary? What hoops
would you add/remove from/to
your life if you could?
7. What is the purpose of rules and
expectations? How are they useful
/ harmful?
In the Old Testament, the people of
God went to great lengths to be
accepted by God. To be accepted by
God required jumping through a lot of
hoops following a long list of God
given laws, and requirements in order
to be accepted by God. To make
matters worse, by human standards, it
was impossible to be accepted by God,
because the hoops were beyond the
ability of the people. And on top of
that, tradition added even more rules
and expectations so that by the time
Christ had his encounters with the
Pharisees, it was an even more
impossible burden.
They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads
and put them on other peoples
shoulders, but they themselves are
not willing to lift a finger to move
them. (Matthew 23:4)
I wonder if any of these hoops sound
familiar? Christians must not drink.
They must not smoke. They must
dress appropriately (according to a
myriad of opinions of what is proper).
They must be timid, and peaceful and
submit when others want to walk over
them. Youth cannot have tattoos, or
earrings, or unnatural colors in their
hair. You must be in church every time
the doors are open. You must give to
every cause.
You must put on a smile even though
you are deeply hurting and tired and
weary. The list goes on We sing
about grace, yet are quick to
condemn, proclaim the blood of Christ
in forgiveness, yet hold grudges,
preach of freedom in Christ, but add a
plethora of rules and expectations.
The Bible is full of imperfect people
resting in the loving care of a perfect
God, many of which would never be
allowed in any kind of public position
in the church of today. But is a list of
rules what defines the Christian?
What does define a person as a
A look at Ephesians 2:1-10 and
Romans 5:6-8 makes it clear that
Christ loved us and died for us even
though we were ungodly, sinful, and
dead in our trespasses. We were
unworthy, yet God reached out to us.
Then he said to them all: Whoever
wants to be my disciple must deny
themselves and take up their cross
daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
1. What are some of the things that
you do simply for show?
2. In what ways do you conform to
3. How can you personally focus
more on the relationships rather
than the rules and expectations?
Most people would prefer to follow a
bunch of rules, to jump through
hoops as it were, than to actually
give up their own lives and follow
Christ. Yet Jesus did not call us to a
set of rules, but to a relationship. He
asked people to take up their cross
and follow Him. But its so much
easier to carry a hoop than a cross.
Come to Me, all you who labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take My yoke upon you and
learn from Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls. For My yoke is easy
and My burden is light. (Matthew
More Spiritual Lessons from Hula
A circle is a symbol of eternity. It
has no beginning and no end.
Staying in your hula hoop can
represent minding your own
business and protecting your
We are only responsible for the
things God places in our circle of
When we are properly focused
on our own lives, our energy is
used to keep our hula-hoop
spinning. When we drop it and
step out to try to control
someone elses life, our life
Will you trust God to take care of
the stuff that is outside of your
God is inside with us at all times
In hula hoop you have to find a
rhythm to keep it going. We must
understand that God has a
perfect rhythm set up for our
lives. Pushing ahead too fast or
lazily moving breaks that rhythm
and things fall apart.
It takes energy to get started
Momentum helps it keep it going
Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give
you rest. Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me, for I am gentle
and humble in heart, and you will
find rest for your souls. For my
yoke is easy and my burden is
light. - Matthew 11:28-30
Then he said to them all:
Whoever wants to be my disciple
must deny themselves and take up
their cross daily and follow me.-
Luke 9:2
They tie up heavy, cumbersome
loads and put them on other
peoples shoulders, but they
themselves are not willing to lift a
finger to move them. - Matthew
For it is by grace you have been
saved, through faith and this is
not from yourselves, it is the gift of
God not by works, so that no one
can boast. For we are Gods
handiwork, created in Christ Jesus
to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do.-
Ephesians 2:8-10
You see, at just the right time,
when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly. Very
rarely will anyone die for a
righteous person, though for a
good person someone might
possibly dare to die. But God
demonstrates his own love for us in
this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us. - Romans 5:6-8
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