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Hula hooping in the 1950s

Reader recalls her son's spin of the latest toy fad.

By Maxine Champlin, Battle Creek, Michigan

A boy hula hoops in the 1950s.Lots of readers must recall when the hula hoop fad hit. This is my oldest son, Ray, trying his skill at the hula hoop in the ’50s. We lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the time.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Smith October 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hula Hoops! What fun! To my mother’s horror, my grandmother gifted me with one at age 3. Apparently I took to it immediately, and once more, to my mother’s horror and my father’s delight, Grandma filmed my three year old dress up self hula hooping non-stop until Grandpa grabbed me up ‘into the clouds’ (he was very tall). Eventually there were 8mm’s of me doing all sorts of antics while hula hooping, walking, riding in Grandpa’s speed boat, playing with his bird, in Grandma’s kitchen ‘helping’… I can still make one spin and I still have the movies though only my 80 yr old father remains of my family of origin. What wonderful memories tied to a silly plastic tube!


Sherrie Johnson November 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Oh my! Do I ever remember the hula hoop. I won the Hula Hoop Contest of the year in Cocoa, Florida in 1957 at age 12!!!! I tried recently (ain’t easy at age 66) but I will have to practice a bit more. My two youngest granddaughters (ages 3 and 6) thought it was quite funny watching Grandma actually DO the hula hoop thing! No wonder I was always a tiny little thing…..I hula hooped, roller skated, used pogo sticks and stilts, and rode my bike constantly! We ALWAYS played outside. So did my 4 children here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan….even in the snow. Nowadays you hardly ever see kids “playing” outside. How sad!


Rose March 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I remember hoola hoops my dad made as one it was a little heavy but sure could do it I still enjoy it but can’t to do it as long and as good great excerise thou


Rose March 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I remember those good ol days our Dad made us one it was a liitle more heavy than plastic used to be able to do it for along time down legs and back to waist . I still enjoy it but not as good as I used to be . great excerise for tyhe waist


margaret April 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I thought my dad was the only one that made us homemade hula hoops. I think the parents probably could not afford the real thing, but my dad could be very creative at times. He had a plastic tube but he used a piece of wood whittled down to place in both ends of the plastic tube to hold the plastic together. Because the wood was heavier than the plastic it was always lopsided and really didn’t work all that well. We laughed about that homemade hula hoop until he passed away, and mom and I will still laugh about it at times. Some time before he passed away he bought me an actual real hula hoop to make up for the lopsided one. That was really only one of many creations he came up with during his life.


Andrea M Love March 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

im only 32 but i do remember doing the hula hoop at school so when i got home i ask my grandfather to buy me one and low and behold whenhe got home from work the following day he brought me one and i did all kinds of tricks with it that from my childhood paid off because when i was 21 my cousin from sc came and got me and my children from morganton nc to stay with her a week and during that week we taught my kids the basics of hula hooping the angel and i went out one night no kids allowed but we went dancing at the blind horse saloon in greenville sc well guess what they had a hula hoop contest for brad paisley tickets and i won 1st place but i had to give my tickets to my cousin so she could go see him and i returned home but it was from my child hood that i learned how to hula hoop and it paid off with tickets to a country music stars concert now my kids enjoy hula hoops


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