One Item Therapy: Hula Hoops

It's that time of the school year when paperwork tasks take over therapy planning. In order to combat this reality, The Frenzied SLPs have been sharing one item therapy ideas all month. #tfsoneitem 
I'm here to share a new item that has entered my therapy room.


When I was recently at my local dollar store, I picked up some hula hoops. My students enjoyed our time with some added movement during our basketball theme, so I decided to bring hula hoops into therapy. My initial thought was movement only and then I did some brainstorming.  



Place two hula hoops on the table or floor to resemble a Venn Diagram.  Use sticky notes to write similarities and differences for describing two items or ideas.



Place three hoola hoops on the floor and label beginning, middle, and end. Give each student a stack of target sound cards in mixed positions. Students must sort the target articulation cards into beginning, middle, and end prior to practicing targets. For even more articulation drill work, place a hula hoop on the floor for each child with target word cards inside. Students must toss bean bags onto target cards while saying each target hit. To make this open ended, place sticky notes with points in the center or surrounding the hoop (similar to a target/bullseye). Toss a bean bag and earn those points or say your target speech sound that number of times.


Use the hula hoop for basic concepts. Have the student go through, under, or over the hoop. You can also target:  above, below, middle, center, outside, inside. Add multiple steps for even more following directions fun!


Use the hoops for sorting past, present, and future verb tenses. After sorting, students can create sentences using each tense!  You can even have students sort items or images into designated categories.



Even more ideas:

Use the hula hoop as it was designed :) for reinforcement or a movement break following a set number of trials given articulation or language targets.

Place 3-5 hula hoops in a row/line on the floor. Students can hop from hoop to hoop to sequence the beginning, middle and ending of a story or summarize using SWBST (Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then).

Teach about personal space using the visual of the hula hoop around the student's body. 

Identify behaviors that are expected (inside the hoop) and unexpected (outside the hoop) using Social Thinking Vocabulary {Michelle Garcia Winner}.

Use to accompany your EET {Sara Smith} for defining characteristics by using a variety of different colored hula hoops. Hint:  Your P.E. teacher may have a collection you can borrow!

What other ways can you think of for using hula hoops in therapy?


1 comment

  1. Such GREAT ideas! I'm just not creative enough to think of some of your ideas on my own!!!
    I may have to run to the dollar store and pick up some hula hoops. :)

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