Stretchy Ring Activities

A "Rainbow Ring", Stretchy Ring or "Hebi" ring is a huge elastic band covered in fabric.  Often the fabric cover is made of different colours. 

Hebi rings are available from Heather Birnie in Christchurch or Kids Music Company.  They are strongly made with bungee cord in the middle.

The ring is great for...

-     teaching children to sit in a circle. It gives them an approximate 'visual picture' of what a circle looks like. Children have trouble forming a circle until they are around 8 years of age.

-     eye contact with the teacher and peers

-     teaching concepts eg. in/out, left/right, over/under, up/down, slow/fast

-     modelling a physical boundary for younger children e.g. children can sit inside the circle, outside the circle, inside the figure eight shape

Kids Music Company Songs for Stretchy "Hebi" rings

Song Title Album Activity
Stretchy Cord

Break Out

As described in the lyrics
See Me Go In

Wriggle and Jiggle

As described in the lyrics
Walk in a Circle

You've Got to Clap

As described in the lyrics
I'm a Train

Wriggle and Jiggle

Everyone is inside the ring, in a long rectangle shape.  Move around the room together, turning corners, around obstacles, moving backwards
Middle of the Circle

Mango Tango

As described in the lyrics
Zeebah the Leader

Stay and Play

One leader thinks of an action for the ring, others to copy.  Sway/shake/turn together in the chorus
Swing This Way

Swing This Way

As described in the lyrics
Make a Shape

Splish Splash Splosh

Make large shapes together
Stretching Taller

Teddy Jumps

Making a large shape as a group

A Tactile Ring is a Rainbow Ring that has different materials and, therefore, different textures. It is great for getting children who are tactile defensive (don't like touching new/different textures) to experience new textures in a fun way. -An excellent resource for children with special needs.

Support Activities

  • Fling the Ring

Stand in a big circle and 'fling' ring into the centre. Children like to see the 'cause and effect' response when they let go! Make sure children are listening and that you have eye contact with them. Explain that you will count slowly '1...2...3...FLING!' Children are to let go on the word 'fling'. Explain that if the children have really good 'listening skills' and 'follow instructions' really well that the ring will land in the centre of the circle! Show children how to hold the ring with their pointer fingers and thumbs only as little children have trouble uncurling their hands from a grasping position in time to fling and may get hit by the ring instead. If you decide to do this activity with very young children (less than 3 years) make sure that you have a few adults evenly spaced around the circle. Have adults standing slightly forward so they can protect a child that doesn't let go in time (not advisable for ladies who are pregnant!). Children really enjoy this activity and love the challenge to work as a team and improve their 'landing in the centre of the circle' challenge!  This activity works well with our Stretchy Cord song on the Break Out CD, and See Me Go In on Wriggle and Jiggle.

  • Physical Boundary

Children can sit around the outside or inside the ring. This is great for helping children sit inside the circle for group/mat time or even story time. Make ring into a figure eight on the floor and ask children to sit in the different halves. You could have two different activities/actions happening in the two halves at the same time - a bit like musical statues!

  • Reciting Times Tables

Sit in a circle and pass the ring around one direction for one times table (e.g. x1) and then the opposite direction for another times table (e.g. x2) etc. Try to jazz up the 'chant' with a funky rhythm or add an expressive 'yeah' at the end of each line eg. 'One one is one, YEAH!'

  • Walking as a Group

This is great for very young children and children with special needs. Everyone walks together in a line, standing inside the ring and holding onto the ring. Good for walking around a centre/school grounds together to reinforce boundaries especially for those who are 'runners'. Also, walking together is good training for a fire drill, i.e. all waking and staying together as a group.

  • Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush

Stand in a big circle. Walk around. All fall down at the end and then get up and go the other direction for the 2nd verse.

  • Circle Dances

Use the ring instead of holding hands e.g. Hokey Tokey

  • Grand Old Duke of York.

All hold stand outside the ring and hold it, walk around in a circle to the speed of the lyrics. When the lyrics say "top", "down", "up", or "halfway" put the ring at the appropriate level.

  • Recognising Colour

Using a soh-me melody, sing

Pass the stretchy ring,

Pass around and sing,

Pass the stretchy ring,

Pass around and stop!   (Repeat.) 

 Speak in meter:

If you have yellow shake one shoulder,

If you have green march in place,   

If you have orange wriggle one thumb,

Everybody bend at your waist,

If you have blue bend your ankle,

If you have red pat your head,

Then wriggle the ring, wriggle it, wriggle it, wriggle it

Pass it round again.

(J Channon)

  • Boat

Use it as a boat.  Use music with different speeds, one floating and the other bouncy.  2 adults stay in the boat for the whole activity to keep the shape, or alternatively use 2 chairs to keep the shape. All sit in the boat for the floating sections (use of scarves or streamers optional) then all climb out and dance on the "beach" for the fast music, all back in when the music changes to slow. Wave your arms/scarves/streamers again in the slow section till it changes again.  Littlies love this activity.  Spanish Sunrise on our Swing Thing CD and Blue Rain on the Wriggle and Jiggle CD are ideal for this activity.

  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Sit in a circle, or a long shape (like the train rectangle). Act out the words with body.

  • Stretchy Ring "Boat"

Adult and child sit in the boat, facing the same direction.

Life jacket over my head,

And clip the strap together

Fine day, not much wind

Perfect boating weather.

 Row the boat, row the boat,

Row the boat with me,

Row the boat, row the boat,

Rowing on the sea.  2x (back to shore to get Teddy)

 Teddy climbs in the boat

Teddy dives out

Teddy swims beside the boat,

Kicking up and down.   2x

 Rock the boat, rock the boat,

Rock the boat with me,

Rock the boat, rock the boat,

Rocking on the sea.  2x

 Teddy's at the bow,

Teddy's at the stern,

Turn teddy, turn Teddy,

Turn, turn, turn.  2x

(J. Channon)

  • Concepts

Use it for 'in' and 'out' songs. E.g. elastic is bendable, 'inable' and 'outable'. Elastic is bendable see what it can do. In, in, in, in, out, out out out - use catchy tunes. Then 'upable' and 'downable'.  Use any up/down, in/out, left/right songs. Change words to known songs eg. We're going up, we're going up, etc.

  • Pass-the-Parcel type game

When the music stops the child holding the brightly coloured part ( or a part with a ribbon tied on) has a turn at something, e.g. making up an action and everyone else copies.