Yumiko Mori

Internet Version [Naruhodo no Mori] Vol.57

by Yumiko Mori


Vol.57   May 15th, 2001

Making a Yoyo

Don't intervene, but keep eye on your child

Home science experiments for mothers of elementary school children

Toshi: "What are you making?"
Satoshi: "This is a yoyo."
Mom: "I wonder if Satoshi can make a proper yoyo by himself."
8 years old Satoshi is making a yoyo from paper plates and a toilet paper core.

Satoshi: "It's done!"
Mom: "Shall we try to spin this yoyo? Let me try, Satoshi."
Satoshi: "Look! It's spinning! I did it."
Mom: "Because this yoyo spins slowly, it is easy to see its rotation. Did you notice it rotates in opposite direction when it is coming up. But this yoyo stops rather quickly."
Toshi: "Let me try. Look, it is spinning fine."
Satoshi: "Toshi, you are very good!."
Toshi: "Satoshi, you can try again. You should pull up the string when the yoyo go down to the end of the string."
Toshi: "Very good! You are better than Mom."
Toshi: "Shall we make another yoyo and compete each other?"
Satoshi: "Yes, let's make another yoyo."


Materials #1
Two paper plates
A toilet paper core
Kite string80 cm
A small bell
A pair of scissors, a cutter, and an eyeleteer
Color pens

How to make a yoyo

How to make a yoyo

Required time: 30 minutes

  1. Cut a toilet paper core roll to 4 cm long. As shown in the illustration, cut off parts from the shortened roll, so that it can be inserted to paper plates.

  2. Use an eyeleteer to make a hole on the cut roll. Then thread a string through the hole.
    Make a knot at the end of the string and attach the knot to the inner side of the roll with a tape.

  3. Place the cut-out roll on the center of a paper plate and mark where you need to make cuts. Use a cutter to cut where you marked.
    Repeat the same for the other paper plate.

  4. Insert the roll to the first paper plate. Place a small bell in the roll and attach the other paper plate.
    If the paper plates easily detach from the roll, put pieces of tape to secure the attachment of the plates.

  5. You may want to paint the plates with color pens.

Pot lid

* If a bell is not available, use a marble instead.
This yoyo seems to rotate well when there is some weight inside the yoyo.

* A pot lid can be a yoyo.

Don't intervene, but keep eye on your child

This yoyo is so easy to make for adults. So I decided no to help my child. But it turned out to be so difficult for me not to intervene. This was like a endurance test for me. But my child has to learn by himself how to use a pair of scissors, how to use a cutter, how much force is required to make a hole with the eyeleteer, and how to make a knot. He has to learn these skills by doing himself, rather than by learning through books. He needs to experience many times until his body learns how to handle. I have realized when you raise your child it may be important to just keep eye on your child rather than to intervene.

AuthorYumiko Mori (Zushi, Kanagawa, Japan)
IllustrationMitsue Ogata
TranslatorAkira Ishihara
HTML formatMuneo Kume

Copyright © 2001 Yumiko Mori