Poi making fun.

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poiKia ora – Hello.  Today I will be introducing the art of making poi. Poi are used in Māori performances usually by females.  There are two types used a pair of long poi and a pair of short poi.  Poi are for swinging and are used in different patterns and keep in time to the rhythm.  Poi are a great Māori  resource for teaching and learning.   Children love to swing the poi and have lots of fun with poi.  Both girls and boys can enjoy this activity of doing poi and making poi.  Poi are made using soft materials for inside the poi material or plastic for outside the poi and a braid of wool for the cord.


Making poi instructions.


Stuffing -I use pillow stuffing.



Material or plastic  for outside covering cut into 2 squares say 20cm x 20cm.

To make the cord:  First measure your wool from the tip of your fingers to your wrist. Add about 5cm for tying into the stuffing. Cut as many lengths as you want.  The more lengths the thicker the cord.  Tie the lengths together.

Start plaiting the strings using either a three plait or a four plait.  once you have got 4-5cms to the end stop.

Next get a handful of stuffing and roll into a ball shape about the size of an average orange.  Attach the cord to the stuffing by tying the wool around the stuffing ball.

Cover the stuffing ball with a square cloth and use some wool to tie around the top of the cord.  Some cloth will be sticking out.  Trim.poi

They now should resemble something similar to the picture here.  now hold the cords and twirl.  There you are your poi are now ready to have fun with.  I will make some and put the photos onto this post in the near future for you to see the steps more clearly.

Learning outcomes of using poi with children:

  • its fun
  • it develops spatial awareness
  • it is good exercise especially on cold mornings children can warm up doing poi
  • It is an easy activity for all age groups to participate in
  • It develops strength in the wrist and arms
  • sharing poi with your friend develops social skills
  • it helps you to keep in time to the song or music
  • it is  a skill that you can develop throughout your life
  • children can assist in making poi with an adult or by themselves
  • learning Māori waiata songs whilst doing poi
  • developing memory
  • developing fine motor skills and large motor skills

I hope that you have enjoyed this simple activity.  Please leave your suggestions below.

Kia pai to ra





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