Kendamas have been a great hit in our school for the last months! A simple wooden toy with lots of possibilities – a bit like a yo-yo, the more you practice the more amazing your tricks are going to be. We have several at our house (including my husband!). I love the counterbalance to the usually omnipresent electronic devices and am amazed how crazy the kids are about this traditional toy.
Anyway, one day a boy in the second grade came to school with two versions of his own home-made “kendamas”. He took cups and small plastic balls to assemble them. Very clever. He asked, if we could make them in class and I finally found the practice golf balls that work best for this. You can, of course, use simpler balls for this project – felted balls, paper mache balls, even just bunched up aluminum foil or paper with a string attached. But here is the luxury version:
You need: small cups (5oz.), paper, practice golf balls (in sports shops, mine were $2.99 for 12 of them), string, glue stick, scissors, colored pencils, a hole puncher (optional).Make a template by cutting apart one of your (probably many) cups.
Trace this template onto a piece of paper. Draw your very own design and cut it out. Stick the made-to-measure paper with your design to the outside of another (whole) cup. Punch a hole (or use a big needle, knitting needle, skewer.. to make a hole). Cut a length of string (mine was about 20″ long) and, with the help of a crochet hook, pull it through two adjacent holes in the golf ball. Tie some knots. Tie the other end of the string to the cup and there you have it: a sweet and simple toy – all home-made!