DIY Poi for Kids to Silver Sneakers
This is a super easy DIY Poi for kids and for you... and your parents and grandparents!!! My dear friend, Dr. Kate Riegle van West, shared this insanely fun way to introduce my kiddos to different cultures, as well as the mind|body amazingness of the flow arts, and my boys fell in love... hard... as you can see in that top video of my son, lol!
Dr. Kate (asides from being a total babe and beautiful soul) conducted the first scientific study on whether Poi is a strategy for improving our quality of life as lifespans continue to lengthen, and it turns out that spinning poi does just that... in very significant ways! Poi is a Maori performance art that involves spinning weighted tethers in a rhythmical pattern. If you have tube socks, rubber bands, rice, and an old t-shirt, you have everything you need to "significantly improve your balance and sustained attention," according to Dr. Cake (as my youngest likes to call her, lol). I followed Dr. Cake's super easy video tutorial in the middle video, and did a hybrid of the sock and cord poi with what we had at home. I ended up cutting off the sleeves of a long sleeve t-shirt for the cords. My boys fell asleep before we could do the glow-in-the-dark poi, so mama gave it a whirl. We have some bendy glow sticks we wrapped around the cord, and it was f-u-n! If you check out @spinpoi on Instagram or Facebook, or spinpoi.com for the whole enchilada, you will find so many cool resources and research... it will blow your mind!
The last video I included is a super fun spin-along video for kids that Dr. Kate created! You can try it once you make your poi! I was wondering when (not if) my boys would turn these into weapons, but it never happened... unless you count when they attacked there dad, lol. We talked about Maori culture, and how it was a very special art form, and they totally respected the poi! I was kind of shocked, and very very happy. I totally recommend you make these yourself, and let the kids do their independent thang while you work... unless of course, you enjoy the sound of hundreds of grains of rice hitting the floor while your youngest son plunges his hand into your stockpile of rice.
Side note, that's me on the ukelele! Just started learning a year ago.
Conclusion: Spinning poi has been proven to improve the quality of life as we age, and nurture balance and sustained attention in all of us! This super easy DIY method of making poi is the perfect sensory activity & invitation to play for the whole family. It is so much fun, and a very sustainable way to participate in the flow arts at home or outside, as well as learn about new cultures!