Kendama is a traditional Japanese toss-and-catch skill game. The basic object is to catch the ball on each end of the cupped surfaces of the hammer-like handle. The ball has a hole in it, which allows advanced players to catch it on the handle's spike. In addition to these basic maneuvers, there are other tricks that players can learn and perform, all of which require hand/eye coordination.
There are five different levels of play. In level one, you're trying to catch the ball in the larger cup. In level two, you toss the ball from the larger cup to the smaller cup. In level three, you must get the ball to land on the base of the handle. To master level four, you must toss the ball from the larger cup to the smaller cup and back to the larger cup. And level five involves tossing the ball from the larger cup to the base and back to the larger cup.
Kendama is available in several colors: green, blue, yellow, and red. Each is sold separately.
Kendama is easy to play but difficult to master. There is a bit of a learning curve, and we found that levels three, four, and five were very difficult. But kids who enjoy physical/skill types of games will enjoy practicing and mastering each level of Kendama.
Kendama is for ages 8 and up. It will appeal to kids who like physical challenges and who have the patience to practice. It's good for casual play as well, but as with toys like yo-yos, the more the kids play with it and the more proficient they get at it, the more they may enjoy it.
Kids can visit yomega.com to view videos of Kendama tricks demonstrated by Kendama pros.
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