If you need a lot of hula hoops for your school, day care, or children’s activity, and if you plan on using the hoops for longer than one afternoon, the least expensive option is to make them yourself.
Some of the school supply or gymnasium supply sites sell packages of six hoops for approximately $30, and you can sometimes find boxes of hoops marked down at the end of summer in the grocery or discount store. These hoops will work fine for one party or afternoon, but they get creased and broken easily and don’t stand up to hard use.
Day care centers who need hula hoops in bulk can make 10-14 hoops from one 100′ roll of tubing, for less than $50-$60 total (as long as gas prices are less than $4/gallon, because tubing costs rise with the price of oil and don’t come down) (including connectors and tape), and these hoops will last all season. (Note–the cost of tape presumes that adults do the taping; when 5 year olds tape, expect to use a lot more tape.)
If you’re not up to making your own hoops, check the hoops offered by Body Hoops in the link to the right. Diana sells packages of hoops at a pretty good price, and these hoops will last much longer than hoops you buy at a retail store.