Activity 10: Hoop Pass


  • Brainstorm and share creative problem-solving strategies to move the hoop around the group
  • Work collaboratively to pass the hoop
  • Listen to different ideas about passing the hoop
  • Discuss the experience and their feelings

Character Focus



Time: 5 minutes
1 hoop made of Toobeez
1 envelope
chart paper (optional)

  1. Place the Risk Taking Note into an envelope.
  2. Create a square of Toobeez out of four 24-inch tubes. An easier version uses the 36-inch tubes.

The Challenge

Pass the Toobeez square around a group as quickly as possible.

Safety Reminders!

Appropriate caution is important to conduct these activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and if necessary, share reminders with the group during the activity.

  • Follow general safety procedures
  • Remove glasses prior to playing
  • Remove high heels

Helpful hints

  • If you have more than 12 people, consider creating two smaller groups
  • Initially a group may find this challenge impossible to complete. Participants might ask, “How do you pass the hoop around the circle without letting go of hands?” This activity will often get a group laughing as they watch each person pass through the hoop.
  • This is not a good activity for people who are obese or who have difficulty balancing

Activity Instructions

  1. Circle up the group. Distribute or display the appropriate “Risk Taking Note” for the activity. Have one participant read it aloud twice. Provide a few moments for the participants to think about the message:
    Those who try to do something and fail are much better off than those who try to do nothing and succeed.
  2. Share the following storyline with group.
    When the hoop passes from one person to the next it gives you the power to say yes to something that you want and that you know is good for you. In order for everyone to have the power to say “YES” the hoop must travel around the entire group. At the end when it has reached the last person, everyone can yell together “I SAY YES!”
  3. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
    Challenge: Pass the Toobeez square around a group as quickly as possible. Follow the guidelines below:
    • The hoop (square) must travel in a clockwise direction
    • No letting go of hands
    • Everyone must stand in one location (no running around)
    • If any guidelines are broken, the group must begin again
  4. Before the participants attempt an activity challenge, have the group work through the following six steps:
  5. Problem Solving Sequence:

    1. Circle up
    2. Know and understand the challenge and the guidelines
    3. Brainstorm
    4. Make a plan
    5. Do the plan
    6. Evaluate results and adjust as necessary
  6. With the group standing in a circle and holding hands, have one pair of people break hands, reach through the hoop (square) and then reconnect hands.
  7. If participants get stuck, have the students circle up again. Here are some suggested questions to help guide the group back on track*:
    • What is working?
    • What ideas have you not tried yet that someone suggested?
  8. If your group is still struggling OR if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present a variation provided on the next page.
  9. After the activity, move to the debriefing questions for discussion.

Activity Variations

  1. Create two hoops.
    To increase the challenge, create two hoops (squares) – one large and one small. Start them in the same location, but ask the group to pass the large hoop in a clockwise direction and the small hoop in a counter-clockwise direction. When they get to the midway point there is usually some confusion.
  2. Timing the Group.
    Time the group as they pass the hoop to see how long it takes them to get it all the way around. Allow another attempt to break the record.

Debriefing the Activity

Use these debriefing questions as a guide for your discussion. Select the questions you feel will best benefit your group. It is not mandatory to cover every question. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s opinions and feelings are important!

Base questions for debriefing:

  • How did you feel while you did the activity?
  • What was one of the challenges of doing this activity?
  • The hoop (square) in this activity could metaphorically represent hoops people jump through. What are actual hoops in your life that you have jumped through?
  • Are hoops good or bad?
  • What advice would you give to another group working on this activity?
  • How did clear communication help you and your group during this activity?
  • How can you apply what you just learned to other challenges you face?
  • What surprised you about this activity?

If the group was unable to complete the task in the given time:

  • Since you were not able to solve the problem, does it mean your group is a failure? (Push the group to respond with more than a “yes” or “no” and to instead point out and discuss what they learned.)

Additional questions: Choose which ones are the most appropriate:

  • Do some people have more to deal with than others? If so, why?
  • What was one positive thing that happened during the challenge?
  • How do you work to keep improving your work with others?
  • Did you try different ideas? If so, why did you change your approach?

Close on a Positive Note

Sum up the different ideas and feelings that you heard expressed, and restate ideas and learning moments the participants shared. Then, read the Risk Taking Note out loud again, and ask people to discuss what they think this note means. Discuss what they thought it meant at the beginning and what they think it means now.

* (ˆ) Do not provide the participants with answers. Allow them to work together.