Every TOY or GAME has a STORY… a WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY & HOW to share with kids.
Today, it’s the HULA HOOP’s turn to tell its story (with a little help from Grandma Sharon)…
WHO invented the Hula Hoop: Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, founders of WHAM-O toy and sporting goods company, trademarked this ancient form of fun and exercise and named it the Hula Hoop because the movement resembles the swaying of the Hawaiian Hula dance.
WHAT is Hula Hooping: Hula Hooping is the art and skill of swinging a large plastic ring around your waist in continuous revolutions.
WHEN was the Hula Hoop invented: Ah… we must go back thousands of years to find this answer. Egyptian children had fun using large rings of dried grape vines to swing around their waists. The ancient Greeks used similar rings/hoops as a form of exercise. Australian children used bamboo rings to swing around their waists in physical education classes. And it’s these Australian children who inspired Richard Knerr and Spud Melin to design a plastic hoop that would take the world by storm… or gyration, that is.
WHERE is the Hula Hoop used: Everywhere! The first Hula Hoops, marketed by WHAM-O in 1958, sold for just under $2.00. 25 million Hula Hoops were sold in under 4 months of its appearance. That’s 25 million, kids!
Grandma Sharon is one of those kids from 1958 who was lucky enough to get one of those awesome hoops! My friends and I spent hours and hours on our California school playground practicing our Hula Hooping and making up fun competitions.
WHY is the Hula Hoop so popular: The Hula Hoop is just plain fun. Anyone of any age can try it. It’s fun to try. It takes practice and patience to master, but it’s so great to accomplish. You can do lots of tricks with it. You can use it just about anywhere… except near your parents’ and grandparents’ special breakable things! It’s a great form of exercise because you’re moving and using so many muscles.
AND it’s fun to know that kids have used similar hoops all across the globe for thousands of years!
HOW has the Hula Hoop remained so popular: The Hula Hoop is one of the greatest toy fads ever, but the Hula Hoop has found its way into dance, circus and even music festivals. There is a World Hoop Day, dedicated to bringing dance, exercise, joy and hoop toys to underprivileged kids around our world. The Hula Hoop brings smiles. It’s kind of that simple…
Share the Hula Hoop Story with your kids and grandkids. And join me here each day in July for TOY STORIES on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and a little “ta dah!”