Poi are balls on strings that Maori women manipulate in a special dance with great skill. You can find out more about them on our New Zealand Poi page and watch a video which will show you all sorts of moves you can practise when you have made your own poi!
You will need:
Light, thin fabric
Needle and thread
Cut lengths of yarn about 50cm (20 inches) long. How many you need will depend on how thick the yarn is. We used 15.
Tie the ends of the yarn together and plait . Secure with a knot at the other end. Trim for neatness.
Cut a circle of fabric approximately 8 inches (20cm) diameter - we drew around a sandwich plate.
Without knotting the thread and leaving one end of the thread loose (you might need to hold onto it with your thumb to begin with), sew around the edge of the circle with a loose running stitch.
Fill the middle of the circle with toy stuffing. Pull the two loose ends of thread together and the fabric should start to gather around the stuffing.
Push one end of the yarn plait into the stuffing and gather the fabric tight around it.
Thread the thread onto a needle and secure the fabric in place around the yarn with some stitches. Knot the thread and cut off the ends.
Now learn to swing your poi!