Relevant for Early Childhood Services Around the World

Although the Hoop with Heart programme has been designed and written primarily to meet the needs of New Zealand early childhood services, the children's activities and content of the teacher training manual are relevant for any pre-school service around the world.

The Maori language (Te Reo) component of the activities is optional, and the Maori myth story-lines provide an interesting introduction to international stories.

Hula hoops are an easily accessed, low cost resource in most countries.

Benefits of the Hoop with Heart Programme

Kids love to play with hula hoops!  These basic plastic circles spark all sorts of active and creative movement, games and play.

Motor Skills

The activities in the children's Activity Sessions help children to gain increasing control over their bodies, including development of locomotor skills, non-locomotor skills, manipulative skills and increasing agility, co-ordination, and balance.

Listening Skills

The Hoop with Heart activities give children experience in listening to and following simple instructions, and also with listening to music and moving to the rhythm of music.

A number of the activities encourage children to move when the music starts, and stop when the music stops.


Many of the activities in the Hoop with Heart programme help children to develop increasing confidence and a repertoire for symbolic, pretend, and dramatic play.

Spatial Awareness

Moving inside and around and with a hoop assists children to gain confidence with moving in space, and playing near and with others.

Online Hoop with Heart Resources

Early childhood education services outside of New Zealand can purchase PDF copies of individual Children's Activity Session Plans which include suggested song lists.

Alternatively, preschools and kindergartens can purchase the Hoop with Heart Kit which includes a PDF copy of the Hoop with Heart Programme Manual and also the teachers’ training manual.

The HWH Programme Manual contains 5 different options for hula hoop based family/community events, and the full teaching plans and printed resources for 10 different hula hoop based activity sessions for preschool aged children.  

The HoopFitness for ELS Manual contains all the information covered in the In2hula professional development workshop for early learning service teachers including how to perform and teach the hoop moves included in the Hoop with Heart sessions for children.

Purchase of the Hoop with Heart Kit includes 3 bonus one hour Q & A video conference sessions with In2hula Managing Director Bernadette Smith.  

Use It Your Way!

The Hoop with Heart programme is designed to be versatile.  Early childhood centres can choose to run only the children's activity sessions, all of them or some of them or even just single games from the activity sessions.

The Hoop with Heart program can be used to provide a complete unit of lesson plans, or as a source of one off activity ideas used on as needed basis.

The themes of the children's activity sessions can provide the stimulus for a topic focus.

Centres can run the teacher training as a fun team building activity as well as a professional development session.

The Hoop with Heart Programme supports the 8 Learning Principles of the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC)
  1. The earliest years of life are important in their own right.

  2. Children should be supported to learn and develop at their own unique pace.

  3. Play is an essential aspect of all children’s learning and development.

  4. Learning happens when developmentally-appropriate, teacher-scaffolded and child initiated experiences harness children’s natural curiosity in an enabling environment.

  5. Independent and interdependent learning experiences create a context for personal development and are the foundation of international mindedness.

  6. Knowledge and skills development lead to an increasing sense of understanding when children are provided with opportunities to explore and express their ideas in multiple ways.

  7. Ongoing assessment, in the form of evaluation and reflection, is effective when it involves a learning-link with the home.

  8. Learning should be motivating, engaging and fun, opening up a world of wonder for children where personal interests can flourish.