Hoop It High – Team Building Activity



In this activity, teams use hula hoops to build a structure in the shortest time possible.

Resources: Hula Hoops – 6 to 8 per team

Space Required: Can be indoors or outdoors.  But, if you run it indoors make sure you have a flat surface.

Group Size:  Flexible, but groups of 6 are optimal.

Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 2 minutes to describe the activity
  • 3 minutes planning time
  • 10 minutes for implementation – 2 rounds of 5 minutes
  • 5 minutes to debrief

Prerequisite: None

Set Up

  • Give each team 6 hula hoops
  • Make sure each team has space to work

Running the Activity

  • Objective:  Each team will need to make a geodesic structure out of 6 hula hoops in the shortest time possible.
  • One hoop needs to be used as the base and one as the roof.
  • Everyone team member must participant in holding a hoop.
  • When a team thinks they are done, they must let go of the structure and it must stand for at least five seconds.
  • No other resources may be used.
  • If your teams are easily successful with 6 hoops, then try it with 8 per team.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Risk Awareness
  • Strategy
  • Engagement

Activity Guidance and Notes
This activity is high problem solving.  It also requires the buy-in from all participants since holding more than one hoop per person is difficult.  Use this if getting everyone “on the same page” has been a problem.  Or, if you have a leader who likes to take things literally “into his own hands”.  A flat surface is important.  While this can be used outdoors, make sure you have a wind break or the participants will start to focus on the fairness of the weather instead of the activity.  Add more hoops if 6 is too easy and make sure to look out for those whose voice is not being heard.


Suggested questions to ask:

  • How did your team start this activity…by jumping into action or planning?
  • How important was planning?
  • How many plans did you consider before moving into action?
  • Was everyone’s input heard and acknowledged?  Did you see or hear someone who was disregarded?
  • When you are tackling a new project at work, what process do you have for gathering everyone’s ideas?
  • What does it take to get people to go beyond understanding your vision and to be excited about it?
  • Are there times when you need to step back and re-examine the big picture?