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Yoyo Activities

By Debbie Illingworth
Age Range: 7 to 11

Possible Yoyo Activities include...

1) Use the yoyo as a pendulum. Count how many times it swings back and forth in a fixed period of time (e.g. 1 minute). Ask the children what factors might affect this number (e.g. length of string, weight of yoyo...). They could experiment with their yoyos and try to find ways of making the yoyo swing more or less times in one minute.

2) Use it to introduce the topic of gravity to the children. Ask them why the yoyo falls when you let go of it. Drop other objects (some large, some small, some light, some heavy) and investigate how long they take to fall.

3) Have a "Sleeping Competition". Make sure that the children have had some practice with their yoyos and are able to make them "sleep" for a few seconds. Then, have a competition, where each child has a number of attempts at making their yoyo sleep. Record the time that each child can make their yoyo sleep for (the longest sleeper wins). All results should be recorded, so that you can later analyse them, e.g. work out the average length of time which the yoyo slept for, make a chart showing the number of children who made their yoyos sleep for certain lengths of time (ICT could be used for this work).

4) Use the yoyo as a stimulus for work on friction. Ask the children to investigate how they can make the yoyo sleep for the longest length of time. Ask them why the yoyo slows down when it is sleeping (friction).

5) Let the children plan and carry out their own investigations with yoyos. They will need to think about what equipment they will need, what they are going to do, what they are going to record etc.

Even more Yoyo activities (which were contributed by a visitor to the site)...

1) Create a Venn diagram showing your class' favourite tricks.

2) Time and chart how long people could yoyo for.

Have fun, but remember to think about Safety.


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