Abuelo’s Bolo Toy

abuelos bolo

Supplies:

3 feet garden string, package string, or yarn

Aluminum foil

Scissors

Tape

Optional: Caps from squeezable applesauce packets

 

Make:

  • Fold string in half. With strings together tie a couple knots at the fold.
  • Cut one string so that it is 2½ inches shorter than the other string.
  • To create the balls at the end of the strings, use two 12-inch x 12-inch pieces of aluminum foil.
    • Tape the end of one string to the center of a foil square. Scrunch the foil to make a tight ball.
  • Repeat with other string.
  • Note: Add another layer of aluminum foil if you feel more weight is needed.

OPTION:

  • Tie a plastic cap, the kind found on squeezable applesauce (see photo), on the end of each string and then cover the cap with aluminum foil.
  • Note: A wooden bead would also work.

Play:

The object of the game is to swing the balls in continuous vertical circles going in opposite directions.

How to hold the toy:

  • Stand with your dominant arm extending out in front of you with the back of the hand facing outside, as if you were going to shake hands with someone.
  • Make a fist with your thumb on top of the fist and not crossing over your fingers.

How to play:

  • Hold the ball on the shorter string in your non-dominant hand.
  • Start moving your dominant hand in a rhythmical up and down motion to get the ball on the longer string going in a vertical circle. Note: You may need to a couple of circular motions by the wrist to get the ball going.
    • If you are holding the toy with the right hand, start the long string ball going in a counter clockwise path.
    • If you are holding the toy with the left hand, start the long string ball going in a clockwise path.
  • While keeping a gentle up and down motion going with your dominant hand and wrist, toss the ball on the short string in the opposite direction that the other ball is going.
    • If you are holding the toy with your right hand, the second ball will go in a clockwise direction.
    • If you are holding the toy with your left hand, the second ball will go in a counter-clockwise direction.

A steady up and down motion by the hand and wrist will keep the ball circling in opposite directions. Trial and error will let you know the best tempo for keeping the balls in motion.