If you haven’t heard of a Kendama, you might want to search for it online and check it out. It may seem like a simple wooden ball and spike toy, but this thing is incredibly addictive! A Kendama is a traditional wooden toy from Japan. It has two different sized cups on either side of a wooden spike. It has a ball with a hole connected by a string, although more advanced players may prefer stringless.
Similar games are the “ring and pin” or the old “cup and ball”. The object is to swing the ball up and catch it on one of the cups or skewer the ball on the spike. It sounds easy, but there are an endless number of tricks you can do with a Kendama. In Japan, Kendama competitions are common. There are multiple ranks for different levels of “trick masters”. Japanese employers are even known to recognize applicants who have attained high Kendama rankings as “persistent, patient and determined potential employees”. Making your own Kendama can be a fun project and could also make a wonderful gift.
Pyramid puzzles make great coffee table games or gifts. They seem easy enough, but it can take a skilled thinker to figure one out quickly. This is especially true if the pyramid is cut into four or more pieces. Pyramid puzzles are usually made by slicing a pyramid into several blocks, but if you’re making your own, you might decide to challenge yourself by using two different types of wood. Another idea would be to cut your pieces from a single block and then use two different colors of stain or varnish to distinguish the two types of wood.
These puzzles are also known as “mechanical puzzles” or “assembly puzzles”. Trial and error will generally lead you to the solution, but something that looks so simple can boggle the mind with how difficult it actually is! This is because there are so many facets to each piece, that it is hard for the brain to organize a three dimensional image of the completed piece. Our brains are generally not used to this type of exercise, so even the smartest whiz may find the task extremely difficult and frustrating to master!
Creating your own puzzles and games is a great hobby. With just a little bit of woodworking skill and a few blocks of wood and a wood dowel or two, you can make great games that are sure to entertain and perplex your friends and family.
About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.