Switch It Up

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise moving effectively to maintain and gain possession of a space.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 4 hula hoops per group


Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe footing and traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls, fences, and obstacles (e.g., trees, playground equipment).

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Participants divide into small groups (e.g., five or six).
  • Four participants form a square and place hula hoops at each corner. These participants each stand in a hoop. The remaining one or two participants begin in the middle of the activity area.

Activity Instructions

  • The participants in the hoops attempt to switch hoops with one another without having a participant from the middle take their position. Participants should be encouraged to switch frequently (e.g., every 10 seconds) to allow several opportunities for the participants in the middle to attempt to take over a hoop position.
  • If one of the participants in the middle succeeds at taking over a hoop position, the participant without a hoop becomes the participant in the middle and the game continues.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: As a participant in a hula hoop, how do you keep possession of the hula hoop? How do you know when it is the best time to switch positions with another participant? When playing in the middle, what strategy can you apply to successfully take over a spot in a hula hoop?


To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Have the person in the middle indicate when the participants in the hoops are to switch hoops.
  • Decrease the size of the square.
  • Play with more than one participant in each hula hoop (as long as one participant always remains in the middle).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the size of the square.
  • Increase the number of participants in the middle.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for gaining and maintaining possession of a space. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Locomotion and spatial awareness: applying travelling skills by moving from one position to another, while knowing when to move (e.g., switching positions with another participant while preventing the participant in the middle from taking your hula hoop position)
  • Relationship: understanding where to move in this game to gain possession of a hula hoop (e.g., moving in a structured environment where the defenders have to move quickly to keep possession of their hula hoop positions)

Movement Strategies

  • Decision making: deciding on the optimal time to switch positions in order to be successful as a participant in a hoop (e.g., when the participant in the middle isn’t watching, quickly switch positions with another participant in a hoop)
  • Performance: demonstrating skills and tactics in order to be successful (e.g., as a participant in the middle, being able to observe when a participant in a hoop is about to switch positions and moving quickly into the open spot)