Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of assisting Tyler Severence of Recess Intl in a school demonstration. We did two different demonstrations which took place during gym class.
Our first class was with 1st graders. Tyler explained to them how to hold the yoyo without hitting their classmates, put the yoyo on your finger, and throw the yoyo correctly. Once we had handed out all of their yoyos, all of the kids were complaining that they either couldn’t put the yoyo on their finger or bring it back up. Eventually we had to take one kid’s yoyo away from because he was swinging it above his head in a way that could injure the other children. What I took away from this is that 1st grade is not a good age to introduce yoyoing to a kid unless he or she expresses interest.
The next day we had the entire 4th grade class to teach, which was around fifty kids. The majority of these kids had too much energy to have the patience to learn yoyo, and complained to me that they would not be able to play “real sports” today. We started the lesson the same way we did the day before, but when it was time to give the kids their yoyos, they all were fighting for the clear first bases. All of the kids that were begging for a certain color, I gave them a different one and gave the kids that could handle themselves best the color of their choice. Once everyone had their yoyos, they did a better job of throwing and putting the string on their fingers. Most of the kids needed some motivation, so I decided to show them some of my own tricks. I showed them fingerspins, behind the back, and speed combos, However they just thought I was a showoff. Even though most of the kids had no interest in throwing, there were a handful of kids that were having a great time, since they were following instructions so well, we taught them rock the baby, and trapeze. It was great seeing kids pick up throwing around the same age as I did.
Overall what I took away from these demonstrations, is that most kids of this age, do not have the attention span to learn at a young age, but I you have the patience, you can learn easily. Teaching kids what I love to do was an excellent experience and I look forward to teaching again this upcoming school year.