Category Archives: hula hoops

Hula till it Hurts – March2Work

When we last tuned in, Chris was bouncing his way to work on a spacehopper in Douglas, Isle of Man. If you missed the introductory post on March 2 Work, just scroll down as it’s immediately below this one.

Earlier today, Day 7 in the March 2 Work campaign, Chris was really working it. He was winding his waist in a hula for humanity like he just stepped off a plane from the islands. Watch the technique, the uphill swivel, the get me there gyrations.

It was a grand day in Douglas, perfect for promoting the importance of outdoor play and safe routes for kids. Check in on Chris’ exploits for the rest of the month at Play Isle of Man, or on twitter @chrisplayiom.

Hats off to the kids who traveled the route with Chris – some real hula hoop champs in that lot.

Thanks for the fun video, we’ll be back to check in on you.

ScreenShot Mondays – The Play and Playground Encyclopedia

A couple of Mondays per month, PlayGroundology screenshots a cyberspot that focuses on playgrounds, or play. I hope readers dive in and explore. Even if you’ve seen the selection before, take a moment and check to see what content has been added recently.

Think of this as a very slow stumble upon, an invitation to relish something new or to revisit an old friend. Some of the people and places may be household names in the world of play and playgrounds, others not so much. I hope all will pique your interest in what they have to offer and further your own possibilities for playfulness.

The Play and Playground Encyclopedia

This is a one of a kind informative resource that lends itself to leisurely browsing or focused searching if there is something specific you’re trying to track down.

In the words of Rita Watts, a member of the Encyclo team and a frequent commenter at PlayGroundology, “The Play & Playground Encyclopedia is an independent, fact-based source of information whose purpose is to promote the value of play and the playground industry while archiving the history of the play and playground movements, organizations, companies, events, and people involved.”

True enough, but The Play and Playground Encyclopedia is also a bit of fun too. Where else will you get information under one roof so to speak on topics such as the Sajai Foundation, Hula Hoops (see my disastrous attempts here), brachiation (my Noah has just started brachiating and sister Nellie, two years younger, is raring to get at it) and the Sandbox Summit?

A fine opportunity to learn about some elements of the play and playground worlds.

ScreenShot Mondays will be back in two weeks. If you have any suggestions for a good subject, drop me a line at

What the Hoop

I’m in Ottawa the next couple of days for business. This afternoon while wandering about downtown I noticed a lot of green space but not much in the way of playgrounds or playscapes. I walked across the Alexandra Bridge hoping to see something at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec. I remembered there had been something there for kids 15 years ago when I used to live here. Either it was too late in the season or it was just plain gone.

On my way back to the hotel I came across a mini hulapalooza under the gaze of the National Gallery’s gargantuan arachnid. People were starting to pack up and head home as I installed myself on the sidewalk for some good natured gazing. The light was failing but some of the hoopers stayed on squeezing out a few more gyrations. With dusk creeping across the sky, specialty hoops started to pulsate with light. I wished that Nellie-Rose, our 4-year-old, could have been beside me to revel in the colourful moves and try some of her own.

Mystic Myron and Awesome Alwynne swore by the hoops as a cure for everything. They were part of the Ottawa contingent celebrating World Hoop Day with their brethern and sistren in farflung parts of the world. Plans are underway to bring out the hoops for the next iteration in Diourbel, Sénégal. I had to give it a try. As you’ll see, I failed miserably but I had a lot of fun.

Now these young folks are keeping fit, creating a community and learning about the wider world. They put on public shows and don’t ask for any money in exchange. Seems like a good past time – if I only had the moves, I’d sign up. Now I’m not sure that hoops will herald in world peace but there’s nothing wrong with bringing a little joy into someone’s day. I was smiling as I watched them and thinking of how young kids must love this shiny, magic dance. If you hear about a hoop jam in your neighbourhood, check it out. It’s more than just pretty lights.

Last word to the amateur circus performers. Long live the hula hoop….