Hoop Hop Showdown – Rock Paper Scissors Hula Hoop Activity

hoop hop showdown rock paper scissors

As PE teachers, one of our main goals is to keep kids as active as possible throughout class. Kids want to be challenged and love a good competition. These past few weeks, the Hula Hoop Showdown activity has been so popular on social media. Parents, friends, and colleagues were tagging me in posts about it begging for me to try it out.

When I first watched the video of the activity, I liked the concept of it, but thought there were way to many kids just standing around and waiting. My goal was to modify it in order to find a way to still keep it competitive and fun, but add in more movement. I read over the comments people were making on the original post and began to develop a plan for my own version that would hopefully meet the needs of what everyone was requesting. The result is an updated version of the Hoop Hop Showdown, which I renamed to the RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors) Hoop Showdown.


Recommended Grades: 2nd and up


Set Up

Split up your class so that students are in groups of no larger than 3, possibly 4. I had 24 in a class so I made 6 teams. The smaller the teams the better! The hoops are set-up in a snowflake diagram and one cone is placed at the end of each line. Next to each cone is a bucket containing 20-25 tokens.

hoop hop showdown RPS game

Tip: Use hoop clips to connect the hoops together and keep them from moving around. They work with any hoop with a cross sectional diameter of 0.85”. 

hoop clips PE

How to Play RPS Showdown

One student from each team goes at a time. I tell my students 1 person from your team on the playing board at a time. Students must jump into each hoop to move across the board. Their goal is to make it to another teams cone in order to earn one of their tokens to take back to their team’s bucket. As the student is jumping, they can come head to head with another student. These 2 students then play Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS). The winner of RPS gets to keep jumping The student that loses then steps out of the hoop and runs back to their team. As soon as a student steps out of a hoop (off the playing board) the next person on their team can begin. The same happens if a student makes it to another teams cone; that student steps out of the hoop (which allows their next teammate to begin) they then can get a token and run it back to their team’s bucket.

ock paper scissors jumbo inflatable

You can keep playing as long as you like. My students loved it and were exhausted after about 20 minutes. If you want to add even more activity, have the students complete an exercise when they return to their cone. For example 15 jumping jacks, squats or push-ups.

Another fun variation is to use a pair of jumbo inflatable rock paper scissors either as part of the hoop hop game, or for students to play while at their team’s bucket!

National PE Standards Addressed

rock paper scissors hoop hop showdown

Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

  • Can the student jump using two feet correctly leaving and landing on the ground?

Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

  • Can the student make a strategic decision on which way to go in order to be the most successful during the game?

Standard 4: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

  • Can the student remain positive and show sportsmanship towards their peers?

Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

  • Is the student enjoying himself or herself and positively interacting with their peers?

pe teacher hoop hop showdownAbout the Author:

Tara Yost just began her 9th year of teaching Elementary Physical Education and currently teaches in Meriden, Kansas. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness and a Master’s of Education with an emphasis in Health & Physical Education. Tara has been awarded many grants to supply new equipment to her classroom and bring new health & wellness initiatives to her school.

More Great Blog Posts

27 thoughts on “Hoop Hop Showdown – Rock Paper Scissors Hula Hoop Activity

  1. I love this variation of “hula hoop hop”. This is something I will definitely try with my students. When I tried the “regular version”, students were getting bored waiting for their turn and some started picking on others and pushing other students while they were waiting in line for their turn. This will reduce the amount of time students are waiting for their turn and they will be much more active.

  2. Pingback: Hula-Hoop Rock, Paper, Scissors Race - reSource Portal (repo)

  3. Tried this today for the first time and the students loved it! Quick question. How do you deal with the initial log jam in the center when the first students go? After that, it’s not really an issue.

  4. Yeah, I had the same reaction when I saw this awesome game on fb. I teach elementary and we have triple classes each block (roughly 85-90 students). We did multiple rows of hoops where students played 4vs4; meanwhile, the other half of the students were outside doing outdoor games. We switched halfway through the class.

  5. Love, love, love it. I played this with my 7th graders and they’re begging to play it again! I used bean bags in the buckets. I did the original version with my daughter’s vacation Bible school class. They were 2nd and 3rd graders. The classes were small so there was minimal waiting time. Your version can now work in my larger middle school classes. Thumbs up!

  6. Looking forward to using this in my class! I was also tagged by several people on Facebook, and the first thing that came to my mind also was how many students were standing around. Your version will definitively solve that concern!

  7. Loved your modification for more kids moving. I tried this version with my classes and I had them collect cupstacking cups from a bucket when the reached the other teams cone. They were to grab one cup and take it back to their group and they had to build a tower with 15 cups(5-4-3-2-1 Sequence).

  8. Pingback: Easy Hoop Clips for Hula Hoop Activities & Games - S&S Blog

  9. Thanks! I tried this out for PE this week with 4 teams for the same reason, I want students moving more. It got a little crazy trying to control traffic and kids that went straight to another group’s end zone. The tokens are perfect! We have a ton of tennis balls I think I’m going to use as tokens. Or maybe even dodge balls…

  10. My students loved this version! The modifications were perfect-a great balance of activity time and catch your breath time plus lots of team spirit!

  11. I love this version! I had the same thing happen, everyone tagging me on Facebook. I loved that kids were having fun but I too did not like all the standing around! This is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing!

  12. I thought the same about too much standing around. I have each person complete one lap around the gym once they are eliminated in the rock, paper, scissors.

  13. Love your new variation. I can’t wait to try it. The school I’m at doesn’t have enough hoops, so I’ll have to borrow from another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *