I have to admit something.... even though I own a toy store, I sometimes don't understand the attraction to some of the 'current trends' that make their way onto the playgrounds at elementary schools. Now, don't get me wrong, I think Silly Bandz & Shopkins were great for what they did, but unfortunately I think they just encouraged parents to insist on more screen time for their kids so they wouldn't get involved with collecting those crazy things!
Ahhh.... but now we have Kendama!
Here on the North Shore (North Vancouver City & District and West Vancouver) I have witnessed a trend - maybe even a craze sweeping through schools and playgrounds called the KENDAMA. It's a traditional Japanese wooden toy you hold in your hand that has 3 cups, a ball and string and a spike. The idea of the Kendama is to perfect different ways of catching one object with another.
What originally started out as simply catching a ball in one of 3 cups or with the spike, has now incorporated a diverse range of skills including juggling, balancing, yo-yo-ing, spinning, flipping and even dancing! Kids spend time honing their skills on the basics (catching the ball in many different ways) then develop their own unique style using their creativity and imagination.
There are literally hundreds of ways to play and entertain, all the while developing coordination, balancing skills, finesse and patience. There's no wasted time sitting in front of a computer, unless they're looking for ideas and inspiration from the masters, which I encourage you to do as well! It's amazing and thoroughly entertaining what people can do with a Kendama!
They range from $14.99 up to $79.99 and come in a huge variety of colours. Even though it's not uncommon for kids to have more than one Kendama, the money invested is much better spent on a wholesome activity than a fleeting fad!