- lights up children and adults’ eyes alike
- is a great teacher’s assistant
- catches your student’s attention (especially when nothing else can)
- shows how our lungs expand and contract (and showing always works better than telling, doesn’t it?)
- was designed and patented by Chuck Hoberman
- is an isokinetic structure (what’s isokinetic?! Very Well defines an isokinetic muscle contraction as “one in which the muscle contracts and shortens at a constant and consistent rate of speed”. What a great tie-in with how muscles work!
- helps children understand what a sphere looks like
- is a HUGE ball that magically fits neatly in your teaching bag
- delights children’s brain development
- encourages children’s sensory development
- connects groups of students together in a common enthusiasm for a transformational object
- provokes questions about mathematics, science, invention, and art
- is for all ages (seeing babies’ already big eyes grow even bigger when they observe the sphere expand is pure magic)
- is magic (“How on earth does it get bigger and grow smaller??!” is a question I have gotten on more than one occasion from my young students).
I delight in sharing the Hoberman Sphere with all of my classes on a regular basis. Currently, I teach weekly thirty minute classes to infants through five year olds. Each age group develops a swift and steady kinship with this fascinating structure that transforms before their very eyes. Giving children the opportunity to witness a transformation take place is a gift that all teachers hopefully are able to share. Once the children have become accustomed to handling the sphere properly and respectfully, giving them the opportunity to take control of the transformation is even cooler.
My students’ absolute favorite activities with the Hoberman Sphere include inhaling and exhaling along with the expansion and the reduction in size, guiding their bodies into the sphere when it is in its largest expansion (if it’s one of the larger spheres!), and lying on their backs and gazing up at the sphere as I open and close it above their heads. The last activity is often a transition from an upright, active exercise to our Secret Garden Savasana.
I invite you to include the Hoberman Sphere in your yoga practice and with your classes! This transformational tool has so much potential; I am excited to hear how you and your students utilize it.