Yesteryear’s Memories: Playing Hoop and Stick

January 11, 2021

It may sound dull to today’s kids. It makes almost no noise, it doesn’t use batteries, and they can’t play it lying on the couch while eating junk food. It doesn’t require a trainer or coach and no helmet is needed. Back in the day they used metal hoops like the ones on wooden barrels. Some hoops were wood, and sometimes a bicycle tire rim with the spokes removed worked just as well or better. The main thing is that it rolled. Pushed along by hand, or even better by a stick, a hoop could reach speeds that made the player run alongside faster and faster. These toys were actually good for you! Today’s kids are indoors too much and many look a little anemic and pasty white.

I’m sure many kids or grandkids would be mortified to get a hoop and stick for a birthday present. Funny thing is, if they saw someone else pushing one around and doing tricks with it, they would want to try. It’s the same age-old story. It’s how Tom Sawyer got the neighbor kids to whitewash his Aunt Polly’s fence.

I guess the trick is to not invite them at all. Roll a hoop up a hill and let it boomerang back a few times. And if they ask, just say, “Wait a minute. I’m trying to break the record.”
“What record?” they’ll ask.

Don’t answer. Just keep rolling and act like they’re bothering you. It works like a charm. Pretty soon they’ll beg and you can reluctantly let them try “just once.”

At least you’ll know they’ll run around a little, get some sun, some fresh air, and maybe even get dirty. Dirt is good for the immune system. And you won’t have to buy batteries or up your internet speeds.

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