These hoops are one of my favourite things to make. They are relatively simple, don’t require too many materials, and most importantly, are super sturdy and not tipped over easily by guinea pigs. They are especially great as a piece in an agility course. Shown below is a video tutorial with a set of written instructions below that, with photos for each step.
How to Make a Freestanding Hoop for Guinea Pigs (Video Tutorial)
- 1 foam sheet (any colour you like)
- 10 jumbo popsicle/craft sticks
- Thin piece of dowel (optional)
- Hot glue gun & hot glue
- Scrap paper (to protect your work surface)
- 2 circular objects to use as stencils (one approx. 7″ in diameter and another 6″ in diameter) You can draw the hoop freehand or use a pencil on a string instead if you don’t have anything to trace.
Trace or draw a circle, approximately 7″ (18cm) in diameter, onto the foam sheet.
Trace or draw a slightly smaller circle, approximately 6″ (15cm) diameter, inside the first circle.
Cut out the hoop outline.
Glue two popsicle sticks together lengthwise.
Do this a second time so you have two pieces altogether.
Form the base by connecting the two pieces you have with two more popsicle sticks across the middle, as shown in the photo. Leave a thin gap between them.
Cut one end off of two popsicle sticks.
Glue the popsicle sticks upright on each side of the base, as shown in the photo.
Glue two popsicle sticks onto the frame to form a cross. Leave a space (about 1/2 inch) between the ends of the popsicle sticks and the frame.
Glue the two popsicle sticks together where they meet at the cross.
Paint the frame in the colour of your choosing (if you intend to paint it).
Glue the hoop onto the frame.
Cut out and glue some extra pieces of foam on the back of the hoop and frame for added stability.
Glue the dowel onto the back of the hoop, leaving a small gap between the dowel and the top of the hoop.
An Added Challenge: The Paper Covered Hoop
If your guinea pig masters the regular hoop jump and you want to add more of a challenge, make your normal hoop into a paper covered hoop. To do this, simply cut out a piece of paper the same size as the hoop, and tape the paper to the dowel at the top of the hoop.
You can learn how to teach this trick and the paper covered version by watching the video
on the How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Jump Through a Hoop page.